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, , , . . .- * ' • , ' ' ' 


. ' ... •• 






- . • • ■ • • • • 
•• •• • • ••>••• 

• m f • m • •••.«• 

R. Taylor and Co. Printers, 
No. 38, Shoe-Lane, Fleet-Street. 




Saxon Romancbs. 

Introdttctioh to Guy of Warwick page 3 

History offhi,y vfMonvich ,,; .^ \^, 7 

Introdticti&n ic Sir "Bhis cf Hdmpioufi, .... 93 
History of Sir Bcvis >..^^. . . . •' 95 

Anglo-Norman Hgmax^ci^. 

Introduction to llickard Cbeur de Lion. ... 171 
History (^Richard CoBur de Lion 180 

Romances relating to Cha^rlemagnb. 

Introduction 283 

History of Roland and Ferragus 29I 

History of Sir Otuel 313 

History of Sjtr Ferumlras 356 

Errata in Vol. II. 

Page 12, line 1, for " i, and** read " him and," 

35, line 2, for " tbee gam" read " thee again*' 

S44, line 8,* for «« !rk/rt^"Jread ^'MttFe' 

857, linel9, *deb3^heivOk>ii<< »rI<^" 

404, line 20, fer ** \:1dirdKI>s*Parif" read « churches of 

•..• •.: Pi^i^;^^.:: : 

• •••• 9 ^ • .. , 

• • • • • • • •«« • ••« 

^jcott 33i(mmtts* 





This work, with the title of " The book of the 
most victorious prince Guy Earl of Warwick," 
was printed by William Copland, without a date, 
but, as Mr. Ritson tells us, befdre 15675 and re- 
printed, according to the same author, before 
1571. Where the latter edition exists I know not^ 
of the former there is a copy, but very imperfect^^ 
in Grarrick's collection, and a second, which is per- 
fect, in the library of the duke of Roxburgh, who 
purchased it at the sale of the late Mr. Steevens. 
The printed work, however, is extremely rare, 
having been superseded by a modem abridgement 
in prose, or rather perhaps in blaiik verse printed 
like prose, which is to be found at almost every 
stall in the metropolis. 

A most beautiful and perfect MS. of this poem 
is preserved in the library of Caius college, Cam- 
bridge (A 8), and another in the public library 



(More 690) 5 but the most curious and antient are 
tw'o fragments contained in the Auchinleck MS. at 
Edinburgh, of which I have availed myself, as far 
as possible, in the following abstract. 

Guy of Warwick is certainly one of the most 
antient and popular, and no less certainly one of 
the dullest and most tedious of our early romances ; 
besides which, Mr. Kitson has taken some pains 
to prove that no hero of this name is to be found in 
real history. It will perhaps be thought indifferent 
whether such exploits as are related of Sir Guy be 
attributed to Julius Caesar or to Jack the Giant- 
killer 'y but It seemed natural to class this and the 
following tale as Saxon, because they may possibly 
be founded on some Saxon tradition, and cannot 
be reduced to any otlier classification. 

The name of our hero is undoubtedly French 5 
and the only Saxon name to which it has any re- 
semblance is that of Egils, who did in fact con- 
tribute very materially to the important victory 
gained by Athelstan over the Danes and their allies 
at Brunanburgh * -, and it is not impossible that this 
warlike foreigner, becoming the hero of one of 
the many odes composed on the occasion of that 
much celebrated battle, may have been transform- 

• See Turner's Anglo^Sax. History, yoL iii. p. 25, 


edj by some Norman monk^ into the pious and 
amorous Guy of Warwick. 

Be this as it may, tlie tale, in its present state, 
has the appearance of being composed from the ma- 
terials of at least two or tliree, if not more, romances. 
The first is a most tiresome love-story, which, it may 
be presumed, originally ended with the marriage of 
tlie fond couple 5 to this, it should seem, was 
afterwards tacked on a series of fresh adventures 
invented or compiled by some pilgrim from the 
Holy I-.and -, and the hero of this legend was then 
brought home for the defence of Athelstan, and 
the destruction of Colbrand. Sir Heraud of 
Ardenne, we know, is the hero of a separate ro- 
mance ; and so is Sir Raynburn -, yet it is certain 
that the dull and heavy compilation which the 
reader is about to encounter was written, in French 
at least, as early as the 13 th century, and translated 
in the beginning of tlie 14tli : so that Mr. Warton 
is evidently mistaken in supposing tliat it was 
partly copied from the Gesta Romanorum (cap, 
172), which, by his own admission, was composed 
at a much later date. 

Sir Guy is quoted by Chaucer as one of the ro- 
mances of price ; but the hero of Warwick has a 
much warmer panegyrist in one of our early his- 
torians, whose words are quoted in the note below. 


and who has introduced an apparently exact trans- 
lation of the romance into the very exordium of 
his history*. 

Perhaps it fiaay be necessary to apologize for the 
length of the extract from, the romance of '' Guy 
and Colbrand," written in twelve-line stanzas, 
and contained in the Auchinleck MS. But the 
editor saw, or thought he saw, in that performance 
a degree of spirit and animation which formed a 
striking contrast with the usual monotony of the 
minstrel compositions. 

* Sed quia historia diet! Guidonis cunctis seculis laudabili 
memoria commendanda est, in prassenti historia immiscere 
curavi, &c. Hen. de Knyghton ap. Hist. Ang. Scriptores x. 
p. 2321. 


XvoHAND was one of the most powerful nobles in 
England -, uniting in his own person the earldoms 
of Warwick, of Oxford, and of Rockingham. He 
was brave, wise, and liberal. He had an only 
daughter, named Felice, whose numerous perfec- 
tions are thus described : 

Gentil she was, and as demure 
As ger-fauk, or falcon to lure. 
That out of mew were y-drawe. 
So fair was none, in sooth sawe ! . 
She was thereto courteous, and free, and wise. 
And in the seven arts learned withouten miss. 
Her masters were tliither come 
Out of Thoulouse, all and some. 
White and hoar all they were ; 
Busy they were that maiden to lere. 
And they her lered of astronomy, 
. Of ars-metrick, andofgeoiiietry^ 


Of sophistry she was also witty j 
Of rhetorick, and of other clergy*. 
Learned she was in musick : 
Of clergy was her none like. 

It will immediately occilf to the reader that^ if it 
be no longer usual to compare the modest and un- 
assuming demeanour of a virgin to the demureness 
of a bird of prey> this may possibly arise from our 
b^ing less familiar than our. ancestors were with 
the moral habits of ger-^falcons. £ut^ as it is not 
obviously requisite that a young countess should 
become an a8trpnomer> a geometrician^ and a 
sophist^ it may not be impertinent to observe, that 
a knowledge of all the liberal arts was considered 
as essential to a proficiency in medicine (an at* 
tainment absolutely necessary to all ladies in the 
times of chivalry) ; and that the medical professors 
of Thoulouse, as well as those of Spain> owed 
much of their celebrity to their various attainments 
in science. 

Perhaps astronomy, or rather astrology, might 
be of use, by enabling the practitioner to foretel 
the effect of medicines, which owed much of their 
virtue to the benignant influence of the stars j 
and this science supposes some acquaintance witli 
arithmetic and geometry. As to sophistry (i. e. 

our OF WARWICK. $ 

logic)^ rhetoric^ and the oiher clergy, it is at least 
probable that they might do no harm. 

While this estraordinary miion of beauty and 
science in the person of a wealthy heires^^ gave 
unu3ual splendour to the court of Rohand^ the 
foundations of his power were solidly established by 
the martial yirtues of his knights, and, above all^ 
by the abilities and inflexible integrity of Sbgaro 
of Wallingford, his steward and counsellor. The 
proudest barmis of the land respected the laws of 
the Earl of Warwick, enforced as they were by tlie 
virtuous Segard, who punished every insulter of 
his patron's authority. 

And with strength him tnm* wolde. 
Though he to Scotland suef him sholde. 
Though a man bare an hundred pound. 
Upon him of gold so round. 
There n* as man in all this land. 
That durst him do shame no schmde ^. 

Segard had a son named Guy, who, having been 
educated amongst the pages of the Earl of Warwick, 
was raised to the honour of being his principal cup- 
bearer, and who soon increased^ by his own merit, 
the favour and popularity for which he was originally 

♦ take. f follow. J harm. 


indebted to his father's services. Segard had in-» 
spired him with the warmest zeal for the interests 
of hb master -, nature had given him a beautiful 
person, uncommon strength and activity, and un-* 
daunted courage 5 a foster-father (preceptor) per-» 
fectlj versed in all the exercises of chivalry, ther 
celebrated H6raud of Ardenne, had taught him the 

Of wood and river, and other game — 

of hawke and hounde. 

Of estrich-falcons* of great mounde ; 

which, added to grace and address at " bordis," 
(tables), at tournaments, and at chess, formed all 
the necessary qualifications of a hero. 

Such was the state of Rohand*s court when Ii^ 
was called upon to celebrate, according to annual 
custom, i}fe feast of Pentecost. 

This splendid ceremony, which drew together 
all the nobility of the country, began by the cele- 
bration of high mass, which was followed by a 
sumptuous banquet, to which again succeeded the 
amusements of the chace, or of dancing. The 

following days (for the great festivals of" the 


* probably the largest falcons, luch as were capable of 
destroying the ostrich. 



year generally occupied a whote fortnight) were 
niai^ed by justs, and tournaments, and other wart- 
like diversions, as well as by hawking and hunting; 
each day, however, being ushered in by ecclesiasti- 
cal solemnities, and followed by the pleasures of 
the table. On these occasions, says our minstrel, 

Everich maiden chos.e her love, 
Everlch knight his lemm^n 
Of the gentil maiden wimm^n. 

Guy had taken his station near the Earl, when he 
received his orders to repair to the apartment of 
Felice, and to superintend the service of the ladies 
during dinner. With this order he readily com- 
plied; and, being clad in a silksn kirtle wlachshowed 
to the greatest advantage the synunetry of his form, 
acquitted himself of his office with so much grace 
and address, as to captivate the affections of all the 
beauties who beheld him, and even to attract the 
notice of Felice herself. On his presenting her the 
water to wash, greeting her at the same time ou 
the part of her father, she could not forbear from 
asking his name, nor from expressing her satisfac- 
tion at the sight of a youth who was already known 
to her by reputation. Guy, gazing on his beautiful 
mistress, whom he now saw for tlie first time, almost 


forgot to answer the encomiums she paid i^ an i 
M^as utterly inattentive to the amorous glances of the 
thirty ladies by whom he was surrounded. 

When it became necessary to take his leave^ he hag* 
tened to his own chamber to give way to his new sensa- 
tions 5 and, perceiving that his affections were unal- 
terably fixed on an object which he supposed it utter- 
ly impossible to attain, gave himself up to despair. 
That respect for his lord which Segard had so careful - 
]y instilled into him, forced him to suffer in silence^ 
though it was not sufficient to repress the presump- 
tuous wishes he had formed. The distance be- 
tween a vassal and his suzerain was such, that imme<^ 
diate death, attended with every circumstance of ig- 
nominy, might probably succeed the avowal of his 
passion. He therefore struggled witli it till the con- 
clusion of the festival 5 when, incapable of subduing a 
sensation which gradually undermined his health and 
strength, he determined to declare himself to his mis- 
tress, and to receive his final sentence at her hands. 

Felice having returned an answer full of disdain, 
the unfortunate Guy retired to his chamber, de- 
termined to make no further efforts for tlie preser- 
vation of a life which he considered as no longer of 
any value. At the end of seven days and seven nights 
his disease had increased to such an alarming ex- 
tent, that the whole court were thrown into con- 


sternadon ; aad Earl Rohand, by whom he was ten- 
derly ]oved> dispatched to him his most learned 
leeches (physicians) with orders to spare no pains 
for his recovery. 

Clerkes ben to him y go 5 

Guy they find blacke and llo*. 

They asked him where his evil stode ? &c. 

But Guy's answers being, as might be expected, 
enigmatical, the leeches were Utterly vaiable ta alle- 
viate a complaint with whose nature and origin 
they were perfectly unacquainted, though they 
agreed in prognosticating that its termination would 
be speedy and ^tal: 

Fortunately for their patient, Felice had dreamed 
a dream, in which an angel had appeared to her, 
and strictly enjoined that she should return the 
young page's ^flfection^ arid this vision had very 
ludtily chosen for its visit the very night when Guy, 
thinking himself nearly at tlie point of death, had 
resolved to make one more effort, and either to pro- 
cure a more graciiius answer or to expire at the 
feet of his mistress. 

With great labour, and after frequent fainting fits, 
he at length made his way to an arbour in her gar- 
den, to Ivl^ch she habitually rcsorted, and, after ma- 

* livid. 



king her a long and pathetic address, fell down in a 
swoon, from which one of the female attendants of 
this haughty beauty with difficulty recovered him. 

That maid yede to him weepind. 
And Guy well sore, hemmed* \ 
'' By God of heaven !** she said, 
*' An Ich were as fair a maid. 

And as rich king's daughter were. 

As any in this world are, 
*' And^he of my love under'nome\ were, 
^' As he is of thine, in strong mannere, 
. *' And he wold me so love yeme J, 
" Me think, I no might it him nought fi;em§ I . 

Felice, though she reproved her maid for a &cility 
which is sometimes fatal to her sex, was not insen- 
sible to this proof of Guy*s affection ; and even con-' 
descended so far as to promise that when he should 
have received the order of knighthood, and proved 
his valour in a suitable number of tournaments and 
battles, she should be ready to avow him as her lo- 
ver, and even to reward him with the present of her 

This favourable answer recalled him to life; and 

* bemoaned. . f undertaken, i. e. occupied by. 

I eagerly. § warn, prohibit. 


the progress of his convalescence vras so rapid, that 
he appeared in a few days at court, to the astonish- 
ment of his friends, in full health and strength ; and, 
falling on his knees before Rohand, earnestly re- 
quested to be admitted, if he were judged worthy of 
such an honour, to the order of knighthood. The 
earl readily acceded to his wishes, and gave orders 
for die celebration of the ceremony with all possi- 
ble solemnity at the approaching festival. 

It was at the holy Trinity , 
The earl dubbed Sir Guy so free : 
And with him twenty good gomes *, 
Knightes* and barons* sons. 
Of cloth of Tars f , and rich cendale J, 
Was the dobbing in each dele §, 
The pavis ||, all of fur and gris ^, 
The mantels were of mickle price. 
"With rich armour and good stedis. 
The best that were in land, at nedis, 

• men, hommes, f Tarsus in Cilicia. 

J a sort of thick silk. § in every part. 

II perhaps a sort of short cloak thrown over the left arm. 
Pavois, in the French dictionaries, is interpreted a kind o£ 
buckler or large shield. * 

5 gray fur, next in value to ermine. 


Better was Sir Guy 7-dight, 

Than he was an emperor's son, I plight * .• 

So richly dubbed as was he. 

Was never man in that contree. 

Tlie ceremony over, Guy hastened to Felice, whom 
he now hoped to find more docile to his wishes j 
but the lady coolly observed to him, that the mere 
name of kni^t was no accession of merit, and 
that before he could claim the performance of her 
promise, it was necessary that he should fulfil the 
conditions on which it was made, by achieving such 
adventures as should render him worthy of her af- 
fection. SirGuy, full of submission, again retired 5 and, 
repairing to his father, signified to him his intention 
of passing without delay into foreign countries for the 
purpose of proving his valour. Segard could not 
refuse his consent to such a reasonable proposal ; 
but, c6nfiding him to the care of the valiant Heraud, 
to whom he added Sir Thorold and Sir Uny, two 
knights of approved valour, and assigning him a 
retinue suitable to his rank, and a considerable 
sum of money, gave him his paternal benediction 
and dismissed him. 

Sir Guy and his companions, having embarked 
at the nearest port, arrived, after a short and pro- 

* I promise you. 



sperout passage^ in Normandy, and proceeded with-' 
out delay to Rouen, the capital of tlie province. 
Observing preparations for the immediate celebra- 
tion of a magnificent festival, they summoned their 
host, to inquire the news of the place ; and w6re 
informed, to their great joy, that a tournament had 
been proclaimed, and was to be holden on the fol- 
lowing day, in honour of Blanche-fleur, a maiden 
of exquisite beauty, daughter of Reignier emperor 
of Germany. A considerable number of knights, 
already signalised by many previous exploits, were 
arrived for the purpose of contending for the prize, 
which consisted of a milk-white falcon, a white 
horse, and two white grey-hounds 5 besides which, 
the victor became entitled to claim the hand of the 
princess, unless he should have previously chosen, 
in his own country, tlie lady of his affections. 

Sir Guy, who was overjoyed at this intelligence, 
having first, according to the invariable custom of 
chivalry, presented a beautiful palfrey to his host 
as a reward for the good news, immediately set off 
for the tournament. He successively overthrew 
Gaire tlie son of the emperor } Otho duke of Pavia ; 
Reignier duke of Sessoyne (Saxony) 5 the duke of Lo- 
wayne (Louvain?) j and many others : while Heraud, 
Thorold, andUrry, on their parts distinguished them- 

VOL. II. c 


selves by unhorsing their several antagonists. On th<f 
two following days the superiority of Sir Guy was na 
less manifest 5 and at the conclusion of the tourna- 
ment the prize was unanimously allotted to the 
valiant knight of Warwick. 

With that came a sergeant prickand, 
Gentil he was, and well speakand. 
To Sir Guy is he come, 


And him he gret attefrome *, 
'' Thou art chosen chief in price 
" Of all this country, fotsooth I wis. 
'^ For thou hast won tlie tournament, 
^' Ich make thee here this present 
" From tlie maiden Blanche-fleur, 
'' That is my lord's daughter tlie emperour* 
'* The ger-faulk, and the steed also, 
'' The two greyhounds thereto, 
^' And eke her love with them 5 
*' But thou hast a fairer lemmari, 
*' She that is the tower within, 
*' To day thou may est her love win." 

* This seems to be nearly synonymous with the French 
phrase "par excellence." From^ Sax. praestans — or perhaps, 
forem, or fruma, principium. 


Well courteously answered Guy, 
*' Beau sire,** he said, '' grammercy ! 
" Ich underfong* this present, 
" And thank her that thee hither sent. 
" Her dj'uerie-f' ich underfong 3 
'^ Her knight to be withouten wrong,** &c. 

At the same time he presented to the messenger 
a rich suit of armour and a sum of money, as a 
mark of respect to. the beautiful Blanche- fleur, and 
dismissed him : after which, he dispatched two of 
his attendants into England, with orders to com- 
mend him to Rohand and his fair daughter ; and 
to lay at their feet the trophies of his victory. With- 
out staying any longer in Normandy, he proceeded 
into *^ far lands,*' ti-avelling through Spain, Almayn, 
Lombardy, and the more distant parts of Europe 5 
attending every tournament -, gaining the prize in 
all ', and establishing his fame as one of the most 
valiant and accomplished knights in Christendom. 
At the conclusion of a year, his friend Heraud ob- 
served to him, that, having been every where, he 
might now, with a safe conscience, return 5 and, 
Guy being of the same opinion, it was agreed 
that they should, on the next morning, set off for 

• accept. f gallantry) politeness. 



England, for the purpose of showing themselves at 

the court of Athelstan, their natural sovereign. 

After a short stay in London, where they were 
received with the greatest kindness by the Saxon 
monarch. Sir Guy and his companions returned 
to Warvyick, to the great joy of S^ard and his 
wife, who had been long impatient to hail the 
arrival of a son whose reputation was now uni- 
versally established. Rohand received him witli 
bis accustomed kindness, and all his court vied 
with each other in their expressions of gratulation : 
but Guy, tearing himself from the embraces of his 
friends, and even from the arms of his parents, 
eagerly sought an opportunity of throwing himself 
at the feet of Felice -, from whom he now tliought 
himself fully justified in expecting an explicit 
avowal of tenderness. 

It were much to be wished, for the honour of the 
wise masters of Thoulouse, that, after instructing 
the fair Felice in the seven liberal arts, they had 
also taught her the art of knowing her own mind. 
But her scruples were not yet satisfied. She re- 
presented to Sir Guy, tliat he had, indeed, obtained 
a place amopgst the most renowned knights in 
Christendom, but that he was not yet universally 
admitted to be matchless and unrivalled ; and that, 
until he should have attained the very pinnacle of 


glory, though she should be proud to acknowledge 
him as her knight, she would never consent to 
give him her hand, at the risk of plunging him in 
sloth, and of extinguishing, amidst the pleasures 
of marriage, that noble spirit of chivalry by which 
he was so much endeared to her. 

Sir Guy, whose education had not been so sci- 


entific as that of his mistress, was unable to answer, 
or even to understand this extreme refinement : 
but he was a lover, and he felt that his duty was 
implicit obedience : he therefore, after remonstra- 
ting against the extravagance of her expectations, 
kissed her hand, took his leave, and, hastening to 
earl Rohand, requested his j^ermission to travel in 
" uncouth lands'* in search of military glory. 

The good earl, astonished at tliis abrupt and un- 
expected request, after so short a stay, urged every 
argument that affection could dictate to induce him 
at least to delay his departure : but, finding tliem 
, ineffectual, reluctantly gave his consent to a mea- 
sure, tlie motives of which, as he could not discover 
them, he had not tlie means of combating. Sir 
Guy now proceeded to his father and mother with 
the same request 5 which he prefaced with all the 
eloquent reasoning suggested by Felice : but the 
plain sense of Segard, who was not at all in love. 


and whose ambition was fully satisfied, could not 
be so easily perverted. 

'^ Lief son/* he said, ^' leave that thought ! 

'' By my will shall thou wend nought. 

^* Thou shalt live here with me ; 

'' All the blither will we be ! " 

'' Leve son," his mother to him said. 

Do thou by thy father's rede ! 

Sojourn with us evermo : 
'' I rede thee, son, that it be so. 
" Another year thou might over-fare : 
'^ But thou hileve*, I die with care ! 
'' For we ne have sons no mo, 
*' Gif thee we shall now forego !" 

These tender remonstrances sunk deep into the 
heart of Sir Guy 5 but the orders of his inflexible 
fair one left him no alternative. He commended 
his parents to God, and hurried from their pre- 
sence. Having embarked with a fair wind. Sir 
Guy, and his faitliful attendants Heraud, Thorold, " 
and Urry, arrived in Flanders 5 and again travelled 
in quest of adventures through Spain, Germany, 
and Lombardy j bearing away the prize of every 
tournament, and m every country conciliating the 

• cemain. 


affeclions of the inhabitants by numberless acts of 
generosity. But in returning through Italy his 
good fortune abandoned him. Merit so transcendent 
could not fail of exciting envy j and a severe wound 
which he received in a tournament at Beneventura 
having in a great measure impaired his strength, 
his enemies flattered themselves with the hopes of 
accomplishing his destruction, and laid a plot for 
the purpose, of which the success was judged to be 

The reader will remember that, amongst the 
knights whom Sir Guy overthrew in his first 
tournament near Rouen, was Otho duke of Pavia. 
This felon duke had in the first moments of his 
disgrace vowed vefigeance against his conqueror 5 
and having witnessed the combat near Beneventum, 
in which Sir Guy, though successful, was dan- 
gerously wounded, conceived that the moment 
was now arrived when he might easily get his 
enemy into his power. Being apprised of the route 
which the English knight intended to take, he sent 
for Earl Lombard, one of his most faithful ad- 
herents, together with fifteen other knights of ap- 
proved courage, and, after reminding them of the 
allegiance which they had severally sworn to him, 
exacted a promise that they would obey his orders 
in a point which was essential to his happiness. 


He then placed them in ambush in a wood through 
which Sir Guy was obliged to pass, and directed 
them to fall on him and his followers by surprise 3 
to kill his attendants without mercy ; but, if pos- 
sible, to reserve him alive for the purpose of unxier- 
going a severer and more lingering punishment. 
The Italian knights accepted without scruple a 
conmiission which they hoped to execute without 

Now cometh Sir Guy riding. 
Upon a mulet ambling. 
His wound him grieveth swithe sore. 
And smerte him ever the longer the more. 
Jn peace he weened for to wende ; 
Ac of the traitour Lumbards unbend 
The helms they seyen bright shine. 
The steeds neighen and together whine*, 
" God !'* quoth Guy, '^ we bsn i/nomefl 
" All we be dead through treasoun," &c. 

But Sir Guy was a stranger to fear 3 and the only 
effect of a danger so pressing and immediate was, 
to obliterate in a moment the sense of his pain and 
infirmity. Springing lightly from his mule, he 

• whinny and neigh. f taken. 


hastily put on hi? armour^ and prepared to face the 
enemy 3 while his faithful attendants in vain con- 
jured him to save his life by a timely retreat, and 
leave them to take the most advantageous position 
tliey could, and to defend it if possible against the 
superior numbers of their assailants. 

With that come* a Lombard ride 
A moody man, and full of pride. 
'' Guy,*' quoth he, *' yield thee anon ! 
'' Ye ben dead everich one ! 
'' To the duke we han truth plight 
'' To bring him thy body this night.** 
With that ilk word, well smart 
Guy him smote to the heart. 
Ne spared he for no dreed. 
But dead he felled him on the mead. 
'' By the truth I shall my kmmanf yield, 
'' To day nought shall thou thy truth held !*' 
Another Lombafd he met anon : 
Through the body the sword gan gon. 
'* Nor thou, thou traitor, shalt me lead 
'' To thy duke that is full of quede^r 

♦ come ride, i. e. rode. The auxiliary verbs come^ gin, 
Tan, &c. were once in tiniversal U8€. 

t mistress. i wickedness, evil, mischief. 


Sir Heraud, Sir Thorold, and Sir Urr)% at the 
same time killed the three knights who were op- 
posed to them J but the stoutest of the Lombards 
still remained behind. Earl Lombard, their leader, 
attacked and slew Sir Uny, but was himself killed 
by Sir Guy. Hugo, nephew to duke Otho, mak-* 
ing a furious stroke at Sir Thorold, laid him dead 
at bis horse's feet. 

When Sir Heraud he saw this. 
That he fell down, and dead he is. 
For his death he was sorry ; 
Him to awreke* he hath great hief. 
Never yet so sorry he ne was. 
Toward Hugoun he made a ras J ; 
As a hound he hied him fast 
That his prey would have in haste. 
Through the body he him smot. 
With great strength, God it wot. 
That, before the Lombards all. 
Off his horse dead he gan fall. 

Unfortunately, Sir Gunter, one of Otho*s most 
formidable knights, seizing the moment when 
Heraud was off his guard, struck him such a de- 

• revenge. f haste. \ race. 


sperateblow that he fell bleeding, and apparently 
lifeless^ to the ground. 

When Sir Guy saw Heraud y-fell'd 
To-hewen his hauberk, and his shield. 
And off his horse felled he was. 
As dead man, and lay on the grass. 
And saw the blood that came him fro. 
Wonder him thought 5 and said thd*. 
Thou ! lording ! to thee I say. 
This day thou shalt well sore abeyef ! 
So mote ich ever word y-speak. 
My master's death ich shall awreke. 

*5 And, for a coward ich hold thee, 

'* That slew him, and let me be. 

*' By him that made sun and moon, 

*' Thou shalt it weie J swithe^ soon ! 
And thou shalt y-boast nought 
That he is to death y-brought." 



With these words Sir Guy spurred his steed ; 
who rushed on his enemy with such velocity " that 
fire under the feet arose ;" and so terrible was the 
blow of his rider, that Sir Giinter instantly sunk, 
cloven firom the helmet to the pummel of the sad- 

♦ then, t suffer for, pay the price of. | know. § very. 


die. A second stroke of his sword took ofF the 
head of another Lombard. But Guy was now 
almost fainting through fatigue and pain ; and his 
armour was so completely hewed to pieces, that he 
was exposed, almost defenceless^ to tlie arms of his 
adversaries. These, indeed, were now reduced to 
two J but one of them was Guichard, the bravest of 
the Lombard knights, who advanced as to a certain 
victory. Yet such was Sir Guy's superiority, that 
Guichard, after losing his last companion, and re- 
ceiving a dreadful wound, was glad to be indebted 
to the unrivalled swiftness of his horse for his 
escape to Pavia. Duke Otho learnt with astonish- 
ment and rage tlie escape of Sir Guy, and the de- 
struction of his own knights 3 but his intended 
victim felt still deeper anguish, while he surveyed, 
on the field of battle, the bodies of those faithful 
friends who had fallen in his defence, 

'' Alas !" he cried, 
" For thy love. Felice, thou fair may*, 
** The flower of knights is slain this day ! 
" Yet, for thou art a woman, 
" Canst thou nought be blamed for- than f : 
*' For, the last ne be we nought 
•* That women have to ground y-brought ! '* 

• virgin. f therefore. 



Nothing, certainly, but the extrenaity of distress 
could have wrung from this courteous and loyal 
knight a sentiment so derogatory to the honoiu* of 
the ladies; but it is to be remembered that Sir 
Guy was devoted and condemned to the search of 
such adventures, against his own wishes, in op* 
position to the will of his suzerain, and in defiance 
of the remonstrances of his parents, by the mere 
caprice of his haughty mistress. The virtues of 
Heraud and his other friends, who had followed 
him, without remonstrance or murmur, through 
so many unnecessary dangers 3 the friendly ex* 
postulations of earl Rohand -, and the pathetic com- 
plaints of Segard and his mother, at once assaii 
him, and he falls into a swoon, exclaiming. 


Whoso n*ill nought do by his father's rede. 
Oft sithes it falleth him quede !" 

But the reflection occurred too late. After many 
fruitless lamentations, he went in search of a her- 
mit, to whom, after making him a present of *' a 
good steed,'* he recommended the bodies of Sir 
Thorold and Sir Urry. From that of Heraud he 
could not yet separate himself 5 he therefore placed 
his antient preceptor on his own horse, and pro- 
ceeded slowly with him to a neighbouring abbey ; 


where, having related to the abbot the story of hi^ 
misfortunes, and promised a liberal remuneration 
to himself and his brethren, in return for the most 
honourable burial that they could bestow on his 
friend, he consigned the body to their care, arid 
retired to the cave of a hermit, which he discovered 
at no great distance, for the purpose of having his 
wounds healed, without running the risk of a 
discovery from the vigilant malice of duke Otho. 
As soon as his cure was completed he passed into 
Pole (Apulia), and from thence into Saxony, the 
residence of duke Reignier, by whom he was 
most hospitably and honourably received. After 
this, meaning to return straight to England, he 
travels into Burgundy, then governed by duke 
Milon, where he distinguishes himself in valour, 
and his liberality to poor knights and to captives. 
During his residence in this coimtry he discovers, 
to his inexpressible joy, his friend Heraud dis-^ 
guised as a palmer. 

The abbot, of whom ich erst have tell*d, 

Herhaild with great ruth beheld. 

He did bearen his bodey 

Into a chamber to disarray. 

A monk of the house beheld him 

Body and heved, and each limb > 


Thilke moDk a surgeon was. 
The virtue he knew of many a grass. 
The wound he beheld steadfastlich. 
That in his body was grieslich j 
By the wounde he saw, I wis. 
That to death wounded he n'is^ 
And saw that he him heal might. 
And so he did full well, I plight. 

Heraud, indeed, was still weak and poor ; but 
Sir Guy, taking him up behind him on his horse, 
and conveying him to an adjoining city, soon sup- 
plied all his wants. 

Heraud, without long rest. 
Was clothed and bathed with the best : 
White cloths of silk, and mantles fine. 
Furred with gris, and good ermine. 

The two friends then take leave of duke Milon, 
pass through Flanders, and arrive at St. Omers. 
Here, while Sir Guy is looking out of the window 
at his inw, he sees a palmer, whom he questions 
about news. The palmer tells him that '' the rich 
emperor (Reignier) has besieged Segwin duke of 
Lavayne (Louvain), and laid waste his country, in 
consequence of his having slain, in a tournament, 
Sadoc the emperor's cousin, by whom he had be6n 


tauntingly provoked to combat. Segwin, after 
the event, had fled to his strong city of Sesoyne 
(Soissons ?) 5 which, however, he despaired of being 
long able to defend against the superior forces of 
the emperor. 

Sir Guy, by the advice of Heraud, levies 
a small army of fifty knights 5 marches to the 
assistance of Segwin 3 and enters the city un- 
perceived by the enemy. On the following morn- 
ing, after hearing mass, he sallies out, attacks the 
imperial array which was conducted by the em- 
peror's steward, overtlirows him, and makes him 
prisoner, together witli a considerable number of 
earls, barons, and other persons of distinction. 
The emperor, on receiving the news of this un- 
expected defeat, summons a council, at which it 
is determined to send Otlio the *^ felon duke" of 
Pavia, together with Reignier duke of S?xony, 
and the constable Wandomire of Cologne, at the 
head of 30,000 men, to renew the siege. An ob- 
stinate battle ensues, in which a knight in the im- 
perial army, Thierry of Gurmoise, son of earl 
Aubry, performs prodigies of valour. But nothing 
can withstand tlie invincible Guy of Warwick. 
Duke Otho, severely wounded, is with difficulty 
earned off by his men, and Reignier and Wandomire, 
after the total rout of their troops, are made prisor>ers. 

our OP WARWICK. 33 

The emperor now marches in person^ at the head 
of a still larger army ; but his son Gaire (who had 
already been unhorsed by Sir Guy at his first feat of 
arms at Rouen) is again vanquished by him and car- 
ried into the town : and an assault undertaken by 
his father for his recovery having proved unsuccess- 
ful, the siege is converted into a blockade. 

This eventful conflict between the head of the 
empire and his disobedient vassal, is terminated by a 
scene which strongly marks the singular spirit of 
chivalry. The emperor, to amuse himself during 
the state of inaction to which he is reduced, goes a- 
hunting in the forest, and in this defenceless situa- 
tion is surprised by Sir Guy, who with an olive- 
branch in his hand thus addresses him : 

Guy said, *' God, that is fiill of might, 
'' Save thee, sire, gentil knight ! 
'[ And give thy men hap and grace, 
** Well to rede* the in this place ! 

Duke Segwin sendeth me to thee. 

That in good manner will love thee. 

With glad cheer he prayeth you 

To herlorrowf with him now j 
** He shall you welcome, and your barons, 
'^ With swans, cranes, and herons, 
*' And make you right well at ease. 

These words," quoth Guy, '* be no lesel ' 



* advise. f harbour or lodge. ( lies 


" Duke Segwin will yield to thee 
" His castle and his good citd, 
'' And all his landes^ loud and stilly 
'' And himself at your own will. 
** Therefore, sire, I wam^ yow, 
'* To him ye must with me now; 
'^ For what more can he to thee do 
" Than thus meekly send thee to ?" 

All resistance being hopeless, the emperor, by the 
advice of his barons, quietly accompanied his con- 
queror into the cityj where, though a prisoner, he was 
received as a master, and was served with the greatest 
humility by Sir Guy, and by all Segwin*s adherents. 
In the morning he heard mass. Segwin in the 
mean time had abstained from appearing in his pre- 
sence; and, having summoned all his prisoners, ear- 
nestly requested their intercession to obtain his royal 
master*s forgiveness. This they readily promised ; 
and then 

The duke yede to the chamber anon j 
Off he did, withouten oaths> 
His wede, save his linen clothes. 
Both barefoot and naked yede be. 
In hand. a branch of olive tree : 
And when he came to the emperour. 
He fell on .his knees with great dolour. 


And said, '' Sire, mercy ! certain 
*' I will no more war thee gain ! 
For that I have grieved thee ill, 
I, and all mine, is at thy will T' &c. 


Gaire, and all ihe prisoners, who were become 
sincerely attached to Segwin in consequence of the 
kindness with which he had treated them during 
their captivit}'^, join their prayers to those of the re- 
pentant duke, and, having obtained his pardon, 
thank the emperor on their knees. Sir Guy ex- 
presses his gratitude in the same humble posture. 
This happy reconciliation is celebrated with all kinds 
of festivity, and confirmed by a double marriage 3 the 
duke of Saxony being wedded to the sister of Seg- 
win, and Segwin to a niece of the emperor. Sir 
Guy, after rendering these important services to his 
friend, takes leave of him, and departs in the em- 
peror's suite. 

There was he with the emperour, 

A little stound, with great honour. 

They rivered their falcons. 

And took cranes and herons. 

And when Guy would in forest chase. 

His will he had in every place. 

So it befell, upon a day. 

As Sir Guy came from his play^ 



From hunting as lie came riding 
He saw a dormound * come sailing : 
To that dormound anon drew he, &c. 

It seems to have been an essential duty of chival- 
ry to omit no opportunity of asking questions. Sir 
Guy interrogates the mariners of the vessel, and is 
informed that they come from Constantinople 3 that 
their cargo consists of plenty of merchandize. 

Rich pelour, ermine and gris. 
Cloths of silk, and Alisaunderf, 
And matres also salimander^, — 

but that it brings very bad news. The Greek em- 
peror Ernis is besieged in his capital by the soudarL 
with an army 

Of thirty thousand Potelynes, 
And so many Sarasins." 

And when the vessel came away the situation of 
the besieged was considered as nearly desperate. 

Sir Guy, having consulted with Heraud, deter- 
mines to levy an army of a thousand knights, the 
bravest that could be found in Almayne, and to 
march, without delay, to the relief of the distressed 
emperor. The reputation of Sir Guy was now so 

• V. Ducange, v. DromoneSf a swift-sailing-ship ; ^fPfAt^l 

f Alexandria. 
^ I cannot explain the meaning of this strange phrase. 


well established^ that large as this number was^ it was 
immediately collected and embarked; and Sir Guy 
was received with transports of joy by the good Er- 
nis^ who promised him^ as a reward for this timely 
and effectual succour^ the hand of his daughter^ the 
heiress of tlie Greek empire. 

The danger, indeed, was pressing; for at this 
very moment, Coldran. cousin to the soudan^ the 
most formidable amiral in the Saracen army, had 
commenced an attack upon the walls which the 
garrison was miable to repel. Sir Guy sallies out 
with his knights ; cuts his way through the army of 
the assailants ; kills Coldran 5 and mortally wounds 
Askeldart, the second in command, who only lives 
to carry the account of this defeat to the chief of the 
Saracens. The soudan, incensed, but not intimida-^ 
ted, by the ill success of this partial attempt, deter- 
mines to assault the city in four days at the head of 
all his forces. 

- In the mean time Sir Guy is on the point of be- 
coming the victim of an intrigue contrived by one 
of his own knights. Among the Gprmin nobles 
^_whom he had selected on account of their valour, 
was Sir Morgadour, steward to the emperor of Ger- 
many. This man, having seen the princess Loret, 
became enamoured of her beauty ; and immediately 
resolved, \f possible, to wrest her hand and the 


crown of Constantinople from Sir Guy, whom he 
considered as an inferior, although he was willing, 
on account of his military talents, to fight under 
his banners. But, being aware that the emperor's 
word had been passed to his rival, it was necessary 
to have recourse to artifice. He therefore contri- 
ved the following stratagem. 

One day, when the emperor was gone a-rivering, 
he proposed to Sir Guy to play a game at chess 
with him in the apartment of the princess ; to 
which the knight, not suspecting any treachery, 
readily consented. On their arrival, 

Guy gret that maid full courteously ; 
The maid says, '' Welcome, Sir Guy !** 
Guy took that maiden in arms two -, 
With lovely cheer he kist her tho. 

After this prefece. Sir Morgadour and Sir Guy 
play their game at chess, in which the knight of 
Warwick is victorious -, and his antagonist, under 
some trifling pretext, leaves him with the princess j 
takes horse j goes to meet the emperor on his re- 
turn ftom the chace ; and accuses Sir Guy of an ^ 
attempt to debauch the virtue of the beautifiil 
Loret. Emis, however, refuses to believe that 
his deliverer can have formed a play of corrupting 


a woman whose hand was already pledged to him, 
and totally discredits the accusation -, upon which, 
the crafty German returns to Sir Guy, laments the 
falsehood and treachery of mankind, and assures 
him that the emperor, on the grounds of this ri- 
diculous story, is determined to put him to death. 
Sir Guy becomes the dupe of the artifice ; is filled 
with indignation at the treachery of Emis -, sum- 
mons his knights ; and is preparing to go over to 
the Saracens, when he meets the emperor -, and, 
coming to an explanation with him, is made ac- 
quainted with the malice of Sir Morgadour. 

Sir Guy, having learned by means of spies the 
intention of the soudan to assault tlie town, de- 
termines to meet the enemy in the field, instead of 
waiting their attack. Having explored the neigh- 
bouring mountains, he takes post in a spot strongly 
fortified by nature, and which he renders by his 
precautions nearly impregnable. There he resists 
the whole efforts of the Saracens 5 and, after a long 
and obstinate conflict, completely disperses their 
army. In the course of the battle, 

^ Cart wheels Guy let take ; 

And good engines he let make. 

The engines were so sore castand. 

That to the Saracens they came near hand. 


Therewith he smote them m sunder j 
So sore they threw that it was wonder : 
Many a hill they threw down^ 
That ccxQgealed vrsis with stones hrown. 

Fifteen acres were covered with the bodies of 
slaughtered Saracens : and so furious were the 
strokes of Sir Guy^ that the pile of dead men, 
wherever his sword had reached^ rose as high as his 
breast. The soudan^ too much incensed to reason 
very coolly, attributed a defeat so miraculous to 
the supineness or stupidity of his tutelary deities^ 
on whom he revenged himself by burning some 
and thrbwing others into tlie sea ^ while the good 
Emis was rejoicing at his delivery, and testifying 
his gratitude by heaping honours and riches on the 
hero of Warwick. 

Sir Morgadour has now recourse to a fresh 
artifice. Being aware that the soudan had sworn 
to destroy every Christian who should either fall 
into, or unwarily place himself within, his power, 
he suggests toErnis an advice which he uncautiously 
adopts. Having assembled his parliament, he ob- 
serves '' that the soudan is collecting a fresh army, 
for the purpose of renewing his formidable attacks 
on the Christian powers ; that a war with such an 
enemy could afford no prospect of its termination ; 


that it were highly important to find some means of 
bringing it to a speedy issue ; and that, with this 
view, it woiild be proper to propose the final de- 
cision of the quarrel by a single combat between 
two persons, who should be nominated as the re- 
spective champions of the Christians and Saracens.** 
He concludes by asking, " whether any person is 
willing to become the bearer of this proposal to the 
soudan ?*' All are silent, until Guy of Warwick, 
starting fi'om his seat, demands to be sent on this 
perilous adventure. The emperor, alarmed at the 
danger of losing his. intended son-in-law, assures 
him that itm proposal was only intended by him as 
a trial of the fidelity and spirit of enterprise which 
prevailed in the assembly; and conjures him to 
forgo an enterprise in which the most invincible 
strength and courage must prove useless. Guy is 
inflexible ; 

Guy asked his arms anon 5 
Hosenof iron Guy did upon : 
In his hauberk Guy him clad 5 
He drad no stroke while he it had. 
Upon his head his helm he cast. 
And hasted him to ride full fast. 
A circle of gold thereon stood -, 
The emperor had none so good. 


About the circle, for the nonce. 

Were set many precious stones. 

Above he had a coat-armour wide ; 

His sword he took by his side. 

And leapt upon his steed anon. 

Stirrup with foot touched he none. 

Guy rode forth, without boast. 

Alone to the soudan*s host. 

Guy saw afl that countree 
Full of tents and pavilions be. 

On the pavilion of the soudan 
Stood a carbuncle stone. 
Guy wist thereby it was the soudan ^s,, 
And drew him thither for the nonce. 
At the meat he found the soudan. 
And his barons every one 5 
And ten kings about him : 
All they were stout and grim. 
Guy rode forth, and spake no word 
Till he came to the soudan's bord. 
He ne saught with whom he met 5 
But on this wise the soudan he gret :— 
" Lord that shope both heat and cold, 
*' And all this world hath in hold, 
*'* And suffered, on cross, passiohs fell, 
'^ To buy man*s soul out of hell. 


'* Give thee^ soadan ! his malison ; 
'' And aU that *lieven on Mahoon ! 
" God's curse have thee and thine ; 
" And all that 'lievc on Apolvn !" 

Tho^Mmdan, being utterly unprepared with an 
answer to a mode of address so verj unusual at 
his board, did not attempt to interrupt Sir Guy 
during the remainder of his message, which, hav- 
ing first satisfied his feelings by the foregoing ex- 
ordium, he proceeded to deliver very minutely, 
and with due attention to decorum. At length, 
however, the monarch recovered the power of 
speech so far as to inquire the name of his insolent 
visitant ; and to direct, after hearing it, that Guy 
of Warwick should instantly be seized and put to 
death. But Guy, not at all disconcerted by an 
order which it was much easier to pronounce than 
to execute, rushed on the soudan, cut off his head, 
deliberately picked it up with one hand, while he 
slew half a dozen of Saracens with the other, and, 
setting spurs to his horse, made his way through 
the camp, though assailed on all sides by the 

During this time Heraud ;was, very fortunately, 
asleep in Constantinople 5 and thereby had the 
0ieans of being apprised, by a vision, of the danger 


to which his friend was exposed. He instantly rose, 
assembled tlie Grerman knights^ and related his 
dream ; on. the hith of which they sallied fbrth^ 
and^ following the direct road to the Saracen camp, 
arrived just in time to rescue Sir Guy, who, nearly 
overcome by fatigue, returned with them in triumph 
to the city, and presented to the astonished £mis 
the head of his haughty antagonist. 

Soon after this perilous exploit, Emis proceeds 
with Sir Guy on a circuit through his dominions. 
During their march they become spectators of a 
dreadful combat between a lion and a dragon. Guy 
felt an irresistible impulse to take a share in the con- 
flict 5 assailed the dragon, and laid him dead at liis 
feet. The lion immediately expressed his gratitude 
to his ally ; licked his feet 5 fawned on him like a 
dog 5 and became, from that moment, his most 
officious and affectionate attendant. 

The good emperor Ernis, more and more 
astonished at the valour and prudence of Sir Guy, 
at length formally proposes to him the hand of the 
accomplished Loret 5 which was accepted without 
hesitation, and a day fixed for the wedding. If the 
reader has not yet forgotten the all -accomplished 
Felice, the daujghter of the earl Rohand, it is 
probably because the laborious campaigns in Ger- 
many and in Turkey have not occupied in the re- 


eital quite so much time as they consumed in the 
acting. Certain it is that the hero of Warwick, 
banished during so many years from his native 
countT}'^ and constantly busied in tlie most arduous 
and important occupations, had lost all recollection 
of the object for whom he was first induced to 
sacrifice his time and health and comfort. £mis, 
therefore, taking his daughter by the hand, in the 
presence <^ all the princes, dukes, earls, barons, 
archbishops, abbots, and priors of Constantinople, 
deliTered her over to Sir Guy, together with the 
investiture of half his empire, and the promise of 
the remainder after his decease. 

But the sight of the wedding ring suddenly 
brought back to the memory of Sir Guy the image 
of his first mistress. 

The weddin,;; ring was forth brought j 

Guy then on fair Felice thought. 

He had her nigh forgotten clean ! 
" Alas !" he said, *' Felice the sheen !'* 

And thought in his heart anon, 
" Against thee now have I misJone !'* 

Guy said, '^ Penance I crave : 
'* None other maid my love shall have !'* 

He then fell into a swoon 5 and, on his recovery, 
begged to defer the maiTiage, and retired to his inn. 


where he remained during a fortnight confined ta 
liis bed> in great anguish of mind and bodj^ to th€r 
extren^e distress of Eiiiis^ of Loret^ of Heraud, and 
of the lion> none of whom were at all able to ac- 
count for his ill-timed and unexpected malady. At 
length he reveals the secret of his heart to He- 
raud^ who at first recommends the completion of 
his marriage with Loret 5 but at length acquiesces in 
his determination of sacrificing to the original ob* 
ject of his passion, the possession of a younger and 
more beautiful woman, together with the richest 
empire in the universe. 

At the fortnight's end Guy returns to court, 
where he is much embarrassed by the kindness of 
Emis and tlie tender affection of Loret, to which 
he feels himself unable to make a proper return. 
From this very awkward situation he was at length 
relieved by an unexpected accident. The lion, who 
owed his life to tlie matchless intrepidity of Sir Guy, 
had gradually familiarised himself with all the per* 
sonages at the court of Ernis ; and seemed to prefer, 
no less from taste than gratitude, a life of tran- 
quillity at Constantinople to a series of contests 
with dragons in the wilderness. One day, while 
quietly sleeping in an herber, he was mortally 
woimded by Sir Morgadour. The blow was so* 
iiudden and so well aimed that the faithful animal 

oirr OP WARWICK. 47 

was scarcely able to reach the chamber of Sir Guy, 
where he expired at his masters feet : but Sir Mor- 
gadoor had been remarked by a damsel of the 
court, who hastened to report this act of cruelty 
and treachery -, and the hero of Warwick, though 
he had borne his own wrongs with patience, in- 
stantly revenged the blood of his favourite by that 
of the assassin. The death of a person of so much 
importance as the steward of the German emperor, 
though certainly merited, was likely to involve the 
good £mis in a very disagreeable altercation with a 
powerful sovereign ; and Sir Guy, gladly availing 
himself of this excuse, determined, notwithstand- 
ing the intreaties of £mis and Loret, to abandon 
for ever the court of Constantinople. 

Having embarked onboard of the first ship which 
he could find, he was carried by accident to the 
dominions of the emperor Reignier, to whom he 
paid a short visit, without at all noticing the history 
of Sir Morgadour, and from thence passed into 
Lorraine, with the intention of proceeding with all 
possible haste to £ngland. 

One day, travelling through a forest, having 
sent forward his attendants to the next town for the 
purpose of making preparations for his reception, 
he hears a voice of lamentation, and finds a knight 
dangerously wounded. This appears to be Sir 

48 GUY OP Warwick.* 

Thierr}', who had long served in the aitnie»of the 
duke of Lorraine in consequence bf an attachmebt 
to the fair Ofiile, the daughter of that sovereign : 
but through the treachery of Otho of Paviat his 
rival, he had' been beset by fifteen soldiers while 
carrying off his mistress With her own' consent^ and 
had fallen covered with Wounds, the anguish of 
which, however, was less intolerable to him than 
the loss of his fair and tender Osile, whom tlie 
assassins had torn from him, and were then con- 
ducting to the arms of the felon Otho. Sir Thierry 
concludes his relation by requesting that Sir Guy 
would in due time procure for him the rites of 
burial; and that he would, in the mean while, spare 
no pains for the rescue of tlie lady. Sir Guy is 
astonished at the propensity of his old enemy Otho 
to quarrel with all worthy knights : but he has no 
time for reflection. He snatches up the sword and 
shield of Sir Thierry ; pursues the ravishers ; kills 
them all ; takes the lady before him on his horse, 
and returns with her to the place where lie had just 
left her lover. But her lover had in his turn dis- 
appeared. Incapable of resistance, he had been 
seized and carried off by four knights in the 
service of Otho. ' Sir Guy, leaving Osile, follows 
the trace of these knights, overtakes and vanquishes 
them, and returns with Sir Thierry. But now 


Osile was again missing. Fortunately she was no 
longer in the power of her ravishers. The atten- 
dants of Sir Guy, returning from the town in search 
of their master^ had found her» and carried her in 
safety to his inn^ whither Sir Guy, after a long and 
fimttless search^ carries Sir Thierry^ and the lovers 
are reunited. Sir Guy procures a leech to cure the 
wounded knight^ who vows eternal friendship and 
allegiance to his deliverer. 

So it befell, upon a day^ 

As Sir Guy at the window lay. 

And Sir Thierry lay him by. 

In the street they saw a knight weary\ 
" Sir knight," quoth Guy, '^ I pray thee, 
'' What seekest thou in this countree V* 
'* Sir, I seek Thierry of Gurmoise — " 

He was come to tell him that Loyer Duke of 
Lopraine, and the felon Otho of Pavia, had determi* 
ned to lay waste the possessions of Aubry, Thierry's 
&ther, in revenge of his son's successfrd passion for 
Osile. Sir Guy, of course, embraces the cause of 
his brother in-arms^ sends into Almayne an invita- 
tion to all valiant knights; draws nve hundred of 
them to his standard, and repairs with them and 
Thierry to the city of Gurmoise. 

VOL. iz. £ 


On the following day the constable of the duke 
of Lornune arrives widi an army before the town. 
Str Gviy, having first heard masa^ issues the neces-i 
sary orders for defence. He first sends out Sir Thi-> 
erry, at the head of a hundred knighta> to keep 
the enemy in check ; and when he ^ after many firata 
of valour, begins to be distressed^ Sir Guy marchea 
to his relief, and, after a severe contest^ disperses tho 
army of Lorraine, and returns with a nuoiber of pri-^ 
soners, amongst whom is the general in chief. The 
next day Duke Otho arrives in person at the head 
of a second and more powerful army> which is in* 
stantly attacked by Sir Guy, Sir Heraud, and Sir 
Thierry, thrown into confusion, and pursued to^a 
considerable distance. But Sir Heraud, fiDllowing 
Otho with too much impetuosity, is surrounded ; 
and, his sword breaking in his hand, is takgn pri« 
soner by the enemy. Guy misses his friend j re- 
turns with Sir Thierry m search of him^ overtakes 
Sir Otho 5 wounds him I rescues Sir Heraud, and 
returns in triumph into the city. Sir Otho has sow 
recourse to treachery. The Duke of Lorraine, un- 
able to resist his importunity, consents, to become « 
party in the moat infamous artifice. He sends to 
Aubry an archbishop empowered to offer the nMMt 
solemn asaurances of fbrgivenesa, together with a 
confirmation of the marriage between Thienry tad 


Osile^ proTided tbey will repair to their toireietgii 
at an appointed spot, and there consent to make an 
apology for their condoct. Sir Gnj, who was well 
acquainted with the dissinmlation oi Otho, so^ecti 
thefhnid, bat, onthefiuthofthearchbishopy con- 
sents at lei^th to accompany his friends. They all 
set oat onarmed. At a day's journey from Gur« 
moise they meet the Duke of Lornune, who, after 
embracing Thierry and Sir Guy, giires them the kiss 
c^ fnendship and reconciliation. Otho advances, 
apparently for the same purpose; but suddenly 
stops, and directs a body €i his adherents, whom 
he has previously placed in ambuscade, to seize the 
wlu^ company as rebels, and traitors to their sove- 
reign, . Sir Heraud and Sir Thierry are instantly 
surroonded and carried offj but Sir Guy, more wary 
and more actire, makes bis way through the assail- 
ants, many of whom, though unarmed, he strikes 
dead with his fist 3 and at last makes his escape 
with the loss of &is mantle, which is torn in pieces 
dunng the struggle. Meeting a countryman in his 
flight, he borrows a staff, with which he quickly de- 
stroys (he most forward of his pursuers; repays the 
obligation by the present of a horse which he takes 
from one of Jiis vanquished enemies ; rides off on 
another; plunges with it into a rapid river ; is borne 
in safety to the opposite bank, and escapes. In the 

B 2 


mean time Sir Heraud is carried off as a prisoner 
by the Duke of Lorraine; and Otbo takes possession 
of O^e together witii Sir Thierry, whom he trans- 
ports to Pavia and throws into a dungeon. Osile^ 
unable to resist the power of her ravisher and the 
orders of her fatlier, is too happy in being permitted 
to defer for forty days a marriage which is to con^ 
sign her to endless misery. 

Sir Guy, in despair at the loss of his friends, and 
wandering without design, arrives at a castle and re- 
quests herhorow (harbour), which is granted. Very 
fortunately this castle, tliough situated in an enemy's 
comitry, is the property of Sir Amys of the Momi- 
tain, a knight of distinguished valour and generosity; 
who, having often fought and triumphed under the 
banners of Sir Guy, is rejoiced at this opportunity 
of repaying the obligation he owes to an old bene- 

Then let he lead Guy*s steed straight; 
i • Before his own he let him eat. 
' \-]S(j>i)»^ hand he took Guyon, 

And j^ede to hall, and set him down. 

A mantle of silk was brought fast, 
, And over Guy*8 shoulders he let it cast. 

At dinner they reciprocally relate their adven- 


tures. Sir Amys offers an army of 500 knights, 
500 squires, and 500 seryants, to attack Otho; but 
Sir Gay observes, with great troth, that the prepa- 
rations necessary for such an enterprise would re- 
quire too much time. He determines on a mode 
of action more suited to his impatience, and to his 
just confidence in the resources of his own genius 
and prowess. After refreshing himself, during 
eight days, in the castle of his friend, and having ful- 
ly digested his plan, he assumes such a disguise as 
to secure him against all possibility of detection, 
tinges his face and eye-brows, and arrives, quite 
alone, at the court of Otho, to whom he presents a 
destrere (or war-horse) which lie declares to be of 
inestimable value, demanding no other recompense 
than the means of revenging himself on the perfi- 
dious and wicked Sir Thierry. Otho, blinded by 
his own hatred and by the artifice of Sir Guy, imme- 
diately appoints him to be the jailer of the unfortu- 
nate prisoner. 

Guy found Thierry in a pit ; 
Forty fathom deep was it ! 

He seizes a moment when he thinks himself un- 
observed, to make himself known to his iBriend, and 
to sooth his distress by the promise of immediate 


rescue : but these few hasty words are overheard 
by a " false Lombard," who instantly runs off toac- 
quaint Otho with this important discovery. Fortu- 
nately Sir Guy, conscious of his danger, anticipates 
the purpose of the felon, and, having in vain at- 
tempted to bribe him to silence, follows him into tiie 
presence of the Duke> and with one blow kilhi him 
at the foot of the throne. Otho> astonished at this 
outrage, menaces htm with instant death : but Sir 
Guy, now perfectly at ease with respect to the &tal 
secret, coc41y answers, that the traitor whom be had 
just slain was detected in carrying food to Sir Thi- 
erry; and the indignant Otho is perfectly satisfied 
with the apology. The knight then goes out to 
purchase provisions, which he carries to his friend ; 
procures admittance to the presence of Osile ; pro- 
mises her a certain and speedy rescue ^ at the sanM^ 
f?me recommending, as a measure necessary to her 
delivery, that she should no longer attempt to put off 
her union with Sir Otbo, and then retires tocomplete 
his measures for the accomplishment of his purpose. 
On the oight preceding the wedding day he puts 
on a suit of armour which Osile had prepared for 
him ; liberates Sir Thierry j helps him to climb over 
the walls of the town j explains to him the means 
of reaching the castle of Sir Amys > and, ridhig at 
Jhe break of day to meet the marriage processioa* 


kills Otho } carries o£P Osile frottk the midst of his 
knights, and bears her in safety to het lover. 

Haying thus far satisfied his vengeahce, he pro- 
poses to Sir Arays and Sir Thierry a new enter* 
prise^ for -the purpose of punishing the Duke of 
Iworraine 3 but that sovereign^ suficiently alarmed 
by the first notice of their preparations', requests 
th^ kind intercession of Sir Heraild^ whom, though 
he still detains at his court, he had honourably 
treated ; and Sir Heraud liavtng consented to be- 
come his borrow (pledge or sectMrity), a reconcili- 
ation is efiected, and Sir Thierry, with her father's 
consent, is solemnly united to the fair Osile. 

Sir Gruy, constantly anxious for his return to 
Eilgland, but as constantly turned aside by fresh 
adventures, goes with his friends on a party of 
boar-hunting ; and one of these animals, which, on 
account of its enormous size, he had selected for his 
prey, being obstinately pursued by him, carried 
him into Flanders, at thst time governed by a king 
called Florentine. Sir Guy, having at length over- 
taken and killed the boar, begins, as usual on such 
occasions, to blow his horn. 

Tlien said king Florentyne, 
" What noise is this ? 'Fore saint Marfyn, 
" Some man,*' he said, " in my franchise, 
" Hath slain my deer, and blow«*th the prize.'' 


An insult of this importance could not fail of 
awakening the royal indignation ; and Florentine 
dispatched hiir own son, with orders to bring the 
culprit immediately before him. Unluckily, the 
Prince attempted to execute the commission with 
so little ceremony, that the Knight of Warwick 
was much offended, and testified his displeasure 
at such an impertinent message by a blow with his 
horn, which laid the messenger dead at his feet. 
After this exploit, to which, at the time, he paid 
little attention, he quietly repairs to the palace, 
and asks for harbour, is honourably received, and 
is seated at the king's table : but, during dinner, 
the prince's body is brought in, and Florentine 
learns, with equal rage and astonishment, that his 
new guest is the murdeier. The unhappy father 
seizes an ax from the hand of an attendant, and 
aims, but without effect, a dreadful blow at Sir 
Guy, who is at the same time assailed on all sides, 
but escapes in safety, after having killed fourteen 
of his assailants. Having at length found his 
way back to Sir Thierry, he spends a short time 
with that faidiful friend, and then with Sir Heraud, 
takes his leave, and departs for England, where he 
arrives without further impediment. 

Imcnediately after his landing he repairs to 
York, where he is honourably .received by King 


AlfaelstaD : but the King has scarcely time to ex- 
press his congratalations on his safe return^ when a 
messenger brings him the tidings of a most por- 
tentons dragon, who was then desolating the 
county of Northumberland : 

He is as black as any coal : 

Ru^ed as a rorgh foal : 

His body, from the navel upward. 

No man can pierce, it is so hard. 

His neck is great as any sommere* ; 

He runneth as swift as any destrere. 

Paws he haili as a lion. 

All that he toucheth he slayeth dead down ; 

Great wings he hath to flight. 

There is no man that bear him might. 

There may no man fight him again. 

But that he sla3reth him certain 5 

For a fouler beast than is he, 

I wiss, of none never heard ye. 

Sir Guy, who had an old enmity to dragons, 
readily undertakes this adventure, to the great 
comfort of Athelstan 5 but so very dreadful ^'as 
the appearance of this monster, that even Sir Guy, 
though a stranger to tear, could not refrain from 
saying his pra3rers with more earnestness and so- 

* beast of burthen. 


lemnity than he had ever used in any of his pre- 
ceding combats. The battle was long and ob* 
stinate, because the dragon*s scales were impene-> 
trable } but at length the knight, watching hit 
opportunity, drove his sword down the throat of 
his enemy ; after which he cut off his head, and 
carried it in triumph to Athelstan at Lincoln. Hav- 
ing thus signalised himself in his native country, 
by an exploit which all England beheld with asto- 
nishment, he suddenly withdrew from court, and, 
with filial eageniess, hastened toWallingford. But, 
alas! his parents were no more ! Sir Guy, there- 
fore, after besto\ving on his old friend Heraud the 
whole inheritance, impatiently hurried to War- 
wick, to offer at the feet of Felice the laurels wHch 
he had acquired in every part of Christendom. 

He told her, as I understand. 
Of all his fare in divers land. 
And altogether how he had sped. 
And how that he was often bid 
By many ladies, of great honoiirs. 
Kings* daughters, and emperours* ; 
And all I forsook, truly. 
For tliee, Felice," said Sir Guy. 


During the long absence of her admirer, Felice 
had found leisure for reflectioo 3 she now, there- 


fare, openly arowed her passioiiy and with the fiill 
consent of her £ither» who sincerely rejoiced in 
obtaining such a son-in-law^ was finally united to 
hoc hp^. Every inliabitant of Warwick sympa- 
thized in the happiness of their hero, and of good 
Earl Rohandj many weeks were passed in con- 
stant festtxrity 3 and the pregnancy of the fair Felice, 
which was soon itfter announced, gave ris^ to new 

Here, therefore, the r^der will naturally expect 
a termination of this long-wtnded story; but, un^ 
fortunately, the piety of Sir Guy was neither less 
capricious, nor less disastrous in its consequences, 
than the affection of his mistress. He had been 
taught that other duties were more sacred and more 
acceptable in the sight of Heaven, than tliose of bus* 
band and father. But the historian shall tell his own 
«tory. At the end of forty days after the nutniage, 
it happened that 

As Sir Guy came from play. 
Into a tower he went on high. 
And looked about him, far and nigh; 
Guy stood, and bethought htm, the. 
How he had done many a man wo. 
And slain many a man with his hand;. 
Burnt aad destroyed many a land. 


And all was for woman's love. 
And not for God*s sake above. 

Felice, who liad observed his reverie, inquired 
the cause 5 and learnt, with' horror and asto^ 
nishment, his determination to spend the remainder 
of his life in a state of penance and mortification. 
He contented himself with directing her, whenever 
their child should be of proper age, if it should 
prove a son, to intrust his education to Sir Heraud ; 
and quitted her without taking leave of the Earl, 
and even without communicating to his old com- 
panion Heraud tliesingularresolutionhehad formed' 
Felice, unable to detain him, places on his £n- 
ger a gold ring, requesting him to bestow at 
]east a thought on her whenever he should cast 
his eyes on that pledge of her affection 5 and her 
husband, after promising to obey her instructions, 
assumes tlie dress of a palmer, and departs for the 
Holy Land. 

Felice cortimunicates to Rohand the news of 
this unexpected misfortune ; and the .good 
Earl is persuaded, with great appearance of proba- 
bility, that Sir Guy can mean no more than to put 
her affection to the test, by a conduct as capriciotis 
as her own. She at first is disposed to put an end 
to her life, but is checked by the thoughts of her 


child. Sir Heraud, in hopes of diverting his friend 
from bis resolution^ takes^ the habit of a pilgrim, 
and travels in quest of him, but returns without 

Guy sought haUoives* in many countre. 
And sithe to Jerusalem went he j 
^ And when he to Jerusalem came. 
To Antioch his way he name-\. 

Here occurs a very strange and very tedious 
episode — 

He found. 

As he went in his journey', 

A fryre well certayne. 

One sat thereby in slavayneX. 

A fair body he had, and a long visage. 

He seemed to be of high parentage. 

This personage was a certain Earl Jonas, who 
had fifteen sons, at whose head he went to make 
war against the Saracens 5 but, after a long engage- 
ment, in course of which all their swords broke in 
their hands, they became the captives of a certain Sir 
Triamour. This petty monarch being summoned, 
together with his son Fabour, to attend the court 
of ius suzerain the soudaa of Persia, is unexpect- 

* saints. f took. t ^ pilgrim's robe. 


jcd\y involved in a very dangerous adventure. Fa- 
bour is invited by the Prince of Persia to play 
with him at chess -, and^ being, unfortunately, bet* 
ter skilled in that game than in tlie arts of a cour- 
tier, has the imprudence to give check-mate to the 
haughty son of the soudan, who, offended by hi« 
presumption, wounds him on the head with the 
chess-board. Fabour very humbly, and it must be 
confessed very reasonably, remonstrates against 
this mode of commenting on the game ; but 'his 
arguments having no otlier effect than to inflame 
the fury of his antagonist, he seizes the chess-board 
in his turn, and, with one blow, lays the prince 
dead at bis feet. He then communicates the intel- 
ligence of what he had done to Jonas, and thejr 
immediately retire from court. But the power of 
the soudan was sufficient to reach them in their 
retreat. They are summoned to exculpate them- 
selves before an assembly of their peers ; and the 
fact being admitted, Fabour is condemned to fight, 
either in person or by deputy, the champion of 
the soudan, the ferocious Amiraunt of Ethiopia, 
a giant whom no Saracen had yet been able to 
resist. The only favour they can obtain is the 
usoal respite of a year and a day, for the purpose of 
obtaining a champion hardy enough to undertake 
th3 combat. Triamour, returning to his capital. 


ttimmons Jonas into his presence^ svA asks bhn if 
he is acqtiainted with any Christian hero capable of 
overcoming the giant 5 and the prisoner having na- 
med two. Sir Gfxy and Sir Heraud, the king dis- 
patches hira in search of one or the other 3 with the 
promise of liberty and the most ample rewards in 
case of success and the denunciation of death 
to himself and all his sons in case of his failure. 

The reader is aware that the search of Earl Jonas 
has hidierto been unsuccessful, that the &tal period 
w nearly expired, and that, in relating his story to 
Sir Guy, whom he is unable to recognise in the dis- 
guise of a palmer, he is guided by courtesy rather 
than by any hope of deriving benefit by his assist- 
ance. The hero of Warwick, of course, offers to un- 
dertake the adventure; is accepted, thougb not with- 
out hesitation ; is presented to Triamour, properly 
armed, and introduced into the lists. The combat 
is long and obstinate 3 and the giant, after receiving 
many wounds, requests of bis adversary a momen- 
tary respite, for the purpose of slaking his thirst in 
the neighbouring river 3 and with this request our 
hero, who was the model of courtesy, readily com- 
plies) when the giant, perfectly recovered from his 
fatigue, recommences the combat with renewed vi- 
gour. Sir Guy, growing thirsty in his turn, makes a 
similar request, me^s with a ruderefiisal, butaccom- 


plislies his purpose by superior agility ; returns t©. 
theattack ; cutsolf successively both the giant's arms; 
finally kills him, and then severs his head from his 
body ', Jonas and his sons are delivered from prison j 
and Sir Guy, after disclosing his name, departs in 
pursuit of adventures. In the mean time Felice 
has been brought to bed of a son, the illustrious 
Baynburn. Having carefully tended him during 
the first four years, she places him, according to the 
orders of her husband, under the tuidon of the ex- 
perienced Heraud. But Fate had determined that 
he should receive an early lesson in the school of 

So, on a day, I understand 

Merchants came into England, 

Into London out of Russie, 

With Englishmen to sell and buy. 

They gave King Athelstan silver and gold 

To buy and sell where they would. 

So, on a day, withouten lie. 

The Saracens gan this child cspie; 

Guy*s son, fair Raynbron, 

And stole him away with treason . 

After this 

They sailed with their prey to an haventown» 
Into a king's land, as I guess^ 


That was well far in heathenness. 
The king's name was Aragus. 

To him Raynbum was presented 5 and Aragus, 
pleased with his appearance, clothed him magnifi- 
centlj, caused his education to be completed, made 
him his chamberlain, and conferred on him the or- 
der of knighthood. 

Heraud, as soon as he heard that his charge was 
stolen, set o£Pin pursuit of him : but he was far less 
fortunate than his ward j he was shipwrecked on 
the coast of Africa, and, after a dreadful conflict with 
the natives, was filially overpowered and thrown in- 
to a dungeon, in which he was suffered to languish, 
secluded from his friends and forgotten by his ene- 
mies, while his pupil was signalizing himself by 
such feats of early prowess as to excite astonishment 
in every part of the Saracen empire. 

But it is now time to return to Sir Guy, who, 
solely occupied with devotional pursuits, had tra- 
velled to Constantinople, and from thence into Al- 
mayne. Here he chances to meet a pilgrim who 
'• made semblaunt sorry\" Guy enters into con- 
versation with him, and finds him to be his old 
friend Sir Thierry, * who had been dispossessed by 
the emperor of all his fiefs, and reduced to the great- 
est distress, in consequence of a false accusation 



preferred against him by Barnard, cousin of the &• 
mous Duke Otho the felon Duke of Pavia, who had 
uiherited the estates and the vices of that treache- 
rous prince, and, unfortunately for the imperial vas- 
sals, possessed to the same degree the confidence of 
his master, together with the dignity of steward to 
the emperor. Sir Guy, on hearing that the death of 
Otho, whom be had slain, had been employed to the 
ruin of his friend Thierry, falls into a swoon ; a prac- 
tice to which, as we have seen, he was much ad- 

'^ Good man," quoth Thierry, *' tell thou me 
*' How long this evil hath holden thee ?** 
** Many a day," quoth Sir Guy, ''it took me ore !" 
'' (xood love !" quoth Thierry, '* do it no more !** 

Thierry proceeds to lament the supposed death of 
Sir Guy, who, though full of compassion for his 
friend, and already determined to redress his inju- 
ries, continues to conceal his name. But Thierry 
was weak and faint with hunger 3 and Sir G-uy tells 
him, that as '' he has a penny in his purse," it would 
be expedient to hasten to tlie nearest town, and em- 
ploy that sum in the purchase of provisions. Thi* 
erry willingly accompanies him, but, feeling sleepj 
as well as faint, is advised to refresh himself^ in tfao 


first instance, with a few moments* repose ; and the 
famished Thierry falls asleep with his head resting 
on the knees of Sir Guy. During his slumher, a 
" white weasel" suddenly jumps out of his mouth; 
takes refuge in the crevice of a neighbouring rock, 
and after a short space of time returns, and again 
runs down his throat. Sir Thierry, waking, informs 
Sir Guy that he had dreamed a dream 5 that he had 
seen a " fair bright sword" and a treasure of inesti- 
mable value, and that, sleeping on his arm, he had 
been saved by him fi-om a dreadful calamity. The 
supposed palmer interprets the dream 3 goes to the 
spot indicated by the weasel, and finds the sword 
and treasure ; which he delivers to Sir Thierry, with 
an injunction to preserve the sword with the great- 
est possible care, and then takes his leave. 

Sir Guy now repairs to the emperor' s palace, asks 
charity, and is admitted into the hall. As his habit 
bespeaks him a traveller, he is on all sides assailed 
by inquiries after news 5 and tlie emperor, having 
a very proper opinion of his own importance, anxi-* 
ously questions him on the reports prevailing among 
his subjects respecting his character. Guy boldly 
assures him that he is universally blamed for the 
flagrant injustice of his conduct towards the inno- 
cent Thierry 5 and, throwing down his glove, offers 
to prove^ by force of arms, the falsehood of Barnard's 

F 2 


acou-ation. The steward, though not a little aiir- 
prised by the appearance of such an uncouth ad- 
versary, accepts the challenge j tlie battle is award- 
ed 3 the palmer is presented with a suit of armour, 
and then repairs to Thierry for the sword which 
had been nxiraculously discovered by the white 
weasel. Sir Barnard, however, was so stout, that 
after a combat which lasted during the whole day 
the victory was still undecided : but he had dis- 
covered during this trial of the palmer's prowess, 
that it would be much more convenient to get rid 
of his adversary by any other means than to abide 
by the issue of a second conflict. Judging there- 
fore tliat tlie palmer would sleep soundly after his 
fatigue, he dispatches a numbei of his emissaries, 
with orders to take him up in his bed in the middle 
of the night, and to throw him into the sea. Al- 
though Sir Guy was lodged in the palace, being 
under the immediate protection of the justice of 
the empire, this bold enterprise was successfully 
executed 3 and Sir Guy, when he awaked in the 
morning, was not a little astonished to find him- 
self floating in his bed, at some distance from land. 
But Providence, who had intended tliat the guilt 
of Sir Barnard should become completely manifest^ 
directed a fisherman to the spot, who conveyed Sir 
Guy hi safety to the palace, and related this mira- 


cdlous incident to the emperor. The monarch 
having determined that the punishment of the 
stewanl should be inflicted by the champion whom 
Heaven had thus marked out for the purpose, the 
battle recommences, and Sir Barnard, already half 
vanquished by tlie reproaches of his own con- 
science, is overpowered and slain. The victor 
then demands the reinstatement of Sir Thierry, 
and, having obtained it, goes in search of his friend, 
whom he finds in a church, devoutly engaged in 
prayer, and hastily leads him to the emperor, who 
weeps at the sight of his distress, and restores him 
to all his possessions. 

The emperor let bathe Thierry, 
And clad him in clothes richely. 
And gave him both palfrey and steed. 
And all things that he had of need. 

Sir Thierry, who had hitherto felt little confi- 
dence in the assurances of the pilgrim, was now 
filled with the warmest gratitude towards his deli- 
verer ', and his gratitude was exalted to enthusiasm, 
when, having been invited to accompany him du- 
ring a part of his journey, he discovered, in this 
deliverer, his old friend and benefactor. He ad- 
jured Sir Guy to share the prosperity he had be- 


Stowed ; but the bero^ only solicitous to become 
an humble instrument in the hands of Providence, 
and determined to fulfil his destiny, whatever it might 
be, tore himself from his embraces, and, pursuing 
his journey, arrived, without meeting any new ad- 
ventures, in England. 

^Vthelstan was, at this moment, in tlie great- 
est distress. He was besieged in Winchester by 
Anlaf, king of Denmark, and had only obtained a 
temporary respite from the assault, by stipulating 
to produce a champion who should enter the lists 
in his defence against die teirible Colbrand. Such 
a champion, however, he was well aware, could 
not be found in Winchester, and he seemed des- 
tined to fall under the yoke of the Danish monarch ; 
when, after spending some days in prayer and 
abstinence, he was instructed by a vision to in- 
trust his defence to the first pilgrim whom he 
should meet at the entrance of his palace. This 
pilgrim, as the reader will have foreseen, was Sir 
Guy } and Athelstan condescended to ask, on his 
knees, the assistance of the Heaven-directed cham- 

'* Do 'way, leve sir," said Guy, 
" Ich am an old man, of feeble body j 
*' My strength is fro me fare ! '* 


The king fell on knees to ground. 
And cryed him mercy, in that stoand, 

Gif it his will were. 
And the barouns did also 5 
O* knees they fellen alle tho. 

With sorrow and sighing sare. 
Sir Guy beheld the lordings all. 
And swich sorrow hem was be&U*; 

Sir Guy had of hem care. 

Sir Guy took up the king anon. 
And bade the lordings, everichon. 

That they should up«stond; 
And said, '' For God in trinity, 
" And for to make England free, 
" The battle I nim in bond." 
Then was the king full glad and blithe. 
And thanked Guy a thousand sithe. 

And Jesu Christis sond* 
To the king of Denmark he sent than. 
And said he had founden a man 

To fight for Englelond. 

The Danish, men busked hem yare 
Into the battle for to fare ; 
To fight they were well few 5 


And Guy was armed swithc well, • 
In a good hauberk of steel. 

Wrought of the best law. 
An helm he had of mickle might. 
With a secle* of gold that shone bright. 

With precious stones on rawe : 
In the front stood a carbuncle stone; 
As bright as any sun it shone. 

That gleameth under shaw-f. 

On that helm stood a flow*r -, 
Wrought it was of divers colour : 

Merrv it was to behold. 
Trust and true was his ventayle, 
<f Gloves,, and gambeson, and hosen of mail. 

As good knight have shold. 
Girt he was with a good brond, 
Wcl kervand -, befbren his bond, 

A targe listed with gold. 
Portrayed with the three kings comX, 
That preunts^ God when he was bom j 

Merrier was none on mould. 

* a plate of gold. Sigel, Sax. mowUe; bulla, 

•f- perhaps ** to the sight.** Scawian^ Sax. videre, 

^ chosen. Sax. § I do not understand this word. 


That was well far in heathenness. 
The king's name was Aragus. 

To him Raynbura was presented 5 and Aragus, 
pleased with his appearance, clothed him magnifi- 
cently, caused his education to be completed, made 
bim his chamberlain^ and conferred on him the or- 
der of knighthood. 

Heraud, as soon as he heard that his charge was 
stolen, set off in pursuit of him : but he was far less 
fortunate than his ward 5 he was shipwrecked on 
the coast of Africa, and, after a dreadful conflict with 
the natives, was finally oveipowered and thrown in- 
to a dungeon, in which he was suffered to languish, 
secluded fi-om his friends and forgotten by his ene- 
mies, while his pupil was signalizing himself by 
such feats of early prowess as to excite astonishment 
in every part of the Saracen empire. 

But it is now time to return to Sir Guy, who, 
solely occupied with devotional pursuits, had tra- 
velled to Constantinople, and from thence into Al- 
mayne. Here he chances to meet a pilgrim who 
'• made semblaunt sorry'." Guy enters into con- 
versation with him, and finds him to be his old 
friend Sir Thierry, * who had been dispossessed by 
the emperor of all his fiefs, and reduced to the great- 
est distress^ inconsequence of a false accusation 

VOL, II. p 


Wlien the folk was samned * by both side. 
And the two kings, with mickle pride. 

After the relics they send 5 
The corporas f , and the mass-gear. 
On the handom J they gun swear. 

With wordes free and hend. 
The king of Denmark he swore first, ywiss, 
Gif that his giant slayen is. 

To Denmark he shall wend ; 
And never more England come within, 
Ne none after him of his kin. 

Unto the worldis end. 

Si then, swore the king Athelston, 
And said among hem everichon. 

By God, that all may weld §, 
Gif his man there slayn be. 
Or over-comen, that men may see. 

Recreant in the field. 
His man he will become on hand. 
And all the realm of England, 

Of him, for to weld 5 

* collected, 
f probably- the host. , It seems to be a corruption of corpus, 
I manual of devotion ? or joining their hands ? 

§ govern. 


And hold liim for lord and king^ 
With gold and silver, and all thing. 
Great truage him for to yield. 

When they had sworn, aud hostage found, 
Colbrand stert up in Uiat stound 3 

To fight he was full fell: . 
He was so micklc, and unrede *, 
That none horse might him lead. 

In gest as I you tell j 
So many he had of armes-gear, 
Unnethe a cart might him bear. 

The English for to quell, 
Swiche armour as he had upon, 
Ywiss, ne heard ye never none. 

But as it were a fiend of hell. 

Of mails was nought his hauberk. 
It was all of another work 

That marvel is to hear ; 
All it were thick splints of steel. 
Thick, and joined strong and well. 

To keep that Jlendis-fere f . 
Hosen he had also, well ywrought. 
Other than splintes was it nought. 

From his foot to his swere J : 

unwieldy. f devirs companion. % neck. 


He was so mickle and so strong. 
And, thereto, so wonderiich long. 
In the world was none his peer. 

An helm he had on his heved set. 
And ther-under a thick hasiriel *; 

Unseemly was his weed : 
A targe he had ywrought full well, 
(Other metal was ther none but steel), 

A mickle, and unrede. 
All his armour was black as pitch. 
Well fbul he was, and loathlich, 

A grisly go?nef to fede. 
The high king, that sitteth on high. 
That welt this world far and nig^. 

Make him well evil to speed ? 

A dart he bare in his hand kervand^. 
And his weapons about him stondand. 

Both behind and beforn ; 
Axes, and gisarmes §, sharp y-ground. 
And glaives, for to give with wound. 

Two hundred and mo there worn |J» 


scull-cap. f man. J earving, cutting. 

§ battle-axes. || were. 


The Eoglish beheld him fast j 
King Athelstan was sore aghast, 

England he should have lorn. 
For when Guy saw that wicked hert. 
Never he n'as so sore afeard, 

Sith then he was boin. 

Sir Guy lept on his steed full hot. 
And with a spear that well bote *, 

To Jiim he gan to ride ; 
And he shot to Guy dartes three j 
Of the tway then failed he. 

The third he let to him glide. 
Thorough Guy's shield it glode. 
And thorough his armour, without abode. 

Between his arm and side ; 
And quitelich f into the field it yede. 
The mountaunce J of an acre brede, 

£re that it would abide« 

Sir Guy to him gan to drive. 
That his spear hrast a-Jive^, 

On his shield that was so bound ; 
And Colbrand, with mickle heat. 
On Guy*s helm he would have smit. 

And failed of him that stound. 

* bit. I quite. J amount. § burst in five pieces. 


Between the saddle and the arsoun. 
The stroke of that felon glode adown, 

Withouten wem * or wound. 
That saddle and horse at bo f he smot. 
Into the earth well half a foot^ 

And Guy fell down to ground. 

Sir Guy, as tight, up stert. 

As man that was agremed X in heart. 

His steed he had forlore. 
On his helm he would hit him tho, 
Ac he no might nought reach therto. 

By two foot and yet more. 
But on the shoulder the sword fell down. 
And carf § both plates and haubergeon. 

With his grimly gore. 
Thorough all his armour stern and strong. 
He made him a wound a span long. 

That grieved him full sore. 

Colbrand was sore ashame. 

And smot Guy with mickle grame. 

And on his helm he hit him tho; 
That his flowers everichon. 
And his good carbuncle stone 

Well even he carf at bo. 

• hurt, f in two. | sorrowed. § carved, cut. 


Even a-two he smot his shield, 
Iliat it flew into the field : 

When Guy saw it was so. 
That he had his shield forlorn. 
Half behind and half befom. 

In heart him was well wo. 

And Guy kent * his sword in hand. 
And heielich-f smot to Colbrand; 

As a child he stood him under ; 
Upon the shield he gave him swich a dent. 
Before the stroke the fire out went. 

As it were light of thunder. 
The bands of steel he carf each one. 
And into the shield a foot and half on. 

With his sword he smote asunder. 
And with the out-gliding his sword brast -, 
Though Guy were sore aghast, 
, It was little wonder. 

Tho was Guy sore dismayed. 
And in his heart well evil apay'd. 

For the chance him was befall ; 
And, for he had lorn his good brand 
And his steed upon the sand 

To our Lady he gan caU. 

* caught. f hotly, eagerly. 




Then gan the Danish host 
^ Each pricken other^ and maken boast. 

And said^ among hem all^ 
** Now shall the English be slain in field ; 
*' Great trewage England shall us yield, 
*' And evermore be our thrall.*' 

*' Now, Sir knight," said Colbrand, 
*' Thou hast lorn this sword in thine hand. 
Thy shield, and eke thy steed. 

Do now well 5 yield, thee to me, 
'^ And smartlich unarme thee, 

" Cry mercy, I thee rede. 
" And, for thou art so doughty knight, 
^' Thou durst again me have fight, 

*' To my lord I sliall thee lead; 
*' And with him thou shalt accorded be 3 
'^ In his court he will hold thee, 

" And find that thee is need/' 

'^ Do 'way!" said Guy, "therof speak nought I 
*' By him that all this world hath wrought 

*' 1 had liever tliou were an-hong*! 
*' Ac thou hast amies great plenty 3 
** I wis thou must lend me 

*' One of thine axes strong/* 

♦ hanged. 


Colbrand swore, " By Apolyn^ 
*^ Of all the weapons that is rnine^ 

'' Here shalt thou none qfong*! 
*' Now thou wilt not do by my rede, 
** Thou shalt die an evil dede f 

" Ere that it be ought long !" 

When Guy heard him speak so, 
Al soon he gan him turn tho. 

And to his weapons he geth. 
There his axes stood by hem selve ; 
He kept one with a well good helvef. 

The best, him thought, he seeth. 
To Colbrand again he ran. 
And said " Traitour!*' to him than, 
'' Thou shalt have evil death ! 
'^ Now Ich have of weapons plenty, 
" Wherewith that I may were § me. 
Eight maugre thine teeth !'* 


Colbrand, then, with mickle heat 
On Guy*s helm he would have smit 

With well great heart-/e7ze|| ; 
Ac he failed of his dent. 
And the sword into the earth went 
A foot and more, I ween/ 
* receive, f death. \ handle. Sax. § defend. || grief. 


And, with Colbrand*s out'draught. 
Sir Guy, with ax, a stroke him raught 

A wound tliat was well seen j 
So smartlich he smote Colbrand, 
That his right arm, with^ll his hand. 

He struck off and quite clean. 

, When Colbrand felt him so smite. 
He was well wrath, ye may well wite. 

He gan his sword up-fond *, 
And in his left hand up it h(if-\ j 
And Guy in the neck a stroke him gaf. 

As he stooped for the brond. 
That his heved from the body he smot. 
And into the earth half a foot. 

Thorough grace of Godis sond. 
Dead he felFd the glutton there ; 
The Danes, with sorrow and care 

They dight hem out of lond. 

Sir Guy, carried in triumph to Winchester, seem- 
ed to take no share in the general exultation. 
Scarcely was he disarmed when he demanded his 

* fond is, generally, to attempt ; here it means to raise with 


f hove, heaved. 


scktvain, and departed without deigning to satisfy 
the curiosity of the nobles or people concerning the 
name of their gallant deliverer 3 nor did Athelstan 
himself obtain a communication of the secret, till 
he had given a solemn promise not to reveal it be- 
fore the expiration of twelve months. Sir Guy, 
careless of wealth and honour, and even indifferent 
to the caresses of friendship, disengaged himself 
£rom the importunate kindness of his sovereign, and 
proceeded to Warwick. 

The disconsolate Felice, during the long interval 
of his absence, had passed her whole time in acts 
of devotion or of charity. Per husband, present- 
ing himself at her giate in his pilgrim's weeds, was 
invited into the hall 5 was plentifully entertained 5 
and enjoyed the pleasure of witnessing, unknown 
and unsuspected, her daily observance of those du- 
ties to which he had, long since, devoted the re- 
mainder of his life. Unwilling to withdraw her 
from these salutary pursuits, he again departed un- 
known, taking with him a single page as an atten- 
dant, and retired to a solitary hermitage in the forest 
of Ardenne, where he was advertised by an angel 
of his approaching dissolution. He then dispatch- 
ed his page to Felice with the gold ring which he 
had received from her at parting, and adjured 
her to come and give directions for his burial. She 

G 2 


iastonishment of their respective sovereigns, who, 
being equally unfit for the further conduct of the 
war, are easily induced to a similar reconciliation. 

The preceptor and his pupil, after riding till die 
approach of night witiiout meeting with any city, 
town, or village, began to grow impatient for a 
place of shelter, when they very luckily discovered 
a castle in the midst of a plain. Here they had the 
good fortune to meet with a very civil and talkative 
porter ; who, after informing them that . the castie 
belonged to a lady, and that she was in great afflic- 
tion for the loss of her husband, hastened to her 
with the information of their arrival, and speedily 
returned with an order for their instiant admission. 

Then came squires and servance. 

And took their swordes and their lance. 

The lady them kept with honour. 

And unlaced their armour. 

That night they had good rest. 

And meat and drink of the best. 
** Madam/* said Herhaud the bold, 
'^ What bight your lord ? " and she him told. 

She said *^ Amys of the mountain j 
'^ The best knight of this land, certain. 
'* Here beside, an elvish knight 
'^ Hath taken toy lord in fight. 


'' And hath him led with him away 
'^ Into the Faiiy, sir, par ma fey.** 



Was Amys,** quod Herhaud^ *' your hnsban^i 
A doughtier knight was none in land ! *' 
Then told Herhaud to Raynbron^ 
How he loved his father Guyon. 
Then said Raynbiam, " For thy sake 

'^ Tomorrow I shall the way take> 
And never more come again 
Till I bring Amys of tlie mountain." 
Raynbum rose in the morning early 
And armed him full richly. 
He said, ^^ Herhaud, here be you ; 

*' To fetch Amys I shall go now.^' 
Raynburn rode till it was noon. 
Till he came to a rock of stone -, 
There he found a strong gate j 
He blessed him, and rode in thereat. 
He rode half a mile the way j 
He saw no light that came of day j 
Then came he to a water broad. 
Never man over such one rode ! 
Within he saw a place green ; 
Such one had he never erst seen. 
Within that place there was a palace,* 
Closed with walls of heathenness. 


• The walls thereof was of crystal. 
And the sommers of coral. 
Raynbum had great doubt to^pass 
The water, so deep and broad it was. 
And, at the last, his steed did leap 
Into the broad water deep. 
Thirty fathom he sank down : 
Then cleped he to God Raynbum. 
God him holpe, his steed was good, 
And bare him over that hedeous flood. 

Raynbum now dismounts, and, after wandering 
for some time about the palace, finds, in a dungeon,, 
a knight, who proves to be Sir Amys -, by whom he 
is informed that the elfish knight is invulnerable 
by common weapons, and that it is necessary, as a 
prelude to his success, to possess himself of an en- 
chanted sword, which he will find hanging in the 
great hall. Raynbum, following these directions, 
seizes the sword, carries off Sir Amys, is pursued by 
the elfish knight, whom he attacks and wounds, and 
compels to purchase his life by the surrender of all 
the captives whom he detained in his enchanted 


palace. Raynbum restores Sir Amys to his lady, 
and departs with Heraud. 

The traveUers meet with no further adventures 
till they arrive in Burgundy, which they find in ^ 


state of desolation^ inconsequence of the repeated 
incursions of a certain Earl Sany^ who, though not 
very formidable from his own valour, has the good 
fortune to retain in his ser\'ice a wonderful knight, 
only twenty years old, but hitherto invincible. 
This paragon of chivalry keeps a pass in the moun- 
tains J and Raynburn is, of course, impatient to try 
his prowess. The combat between these youth- 
ful rivals for £ame is, as might be expected, long 
and indecisive. Raynburn repeatedly inquires the 
name of his opponent — 

*' Nay," said the knight, ^' by heaven king, 

*' I shall thee tell nothing 

" Till thy head be from thy body ! 

" For here passed no man, truly, 

" But that I slew him in this place : 

" So shall I thee, or thou pass ! 

^^ And thine old churl also, 

'* My sword shall bite his neck a two." 

Ila}Tibum, as we have seen, was not very tole- 
rant : the combat therefore reconmienced, after 
lliis ungracious answer, with redoubled fury ; but 
so equal were the strength and skill of tliese anta^ 
gonists that the victory could not be decided. At 
length Heraud interferes, and advises the young 


knight to forgo the contest, and yield the palm to 
Raynburn^ assuring him that he is equally rich and 
liberal. The young man tlien condescends to ask 
their names, observing, tliat at the sight and voice 
of Sir Heraud, he feels an affray of which he 
had never before been conscious. Heraud now, 
in his turn, refuses, and the young knight consents 
to speak first. The reader will perhaps hear with 
some sutprise that this was no other than Aslake, 
Sir Heraud's son, concerning whose birth and edu- 
cation we have no information whatever, and that 
the affray occasioned by tlie sight of his father was 
the instinctive voice of filial affection. The young 
hero falls on his knees, asks forgiveness of his father 
and of Raynbum, and accompanies them to England, 
where they are all joyfully received by Athelstan. 

Now is the story brought to an end. 
Of Guy, the bold baron of price. 
And of the fair maid Felice, 


And of Aslake, and Sir Raynbron.— • 
Fair ensamples men may lere. 
Whoso will listen and hear. 
True to love, late and early. 
As, in his life, did good Sir Guy r 
For he forsook worldly honour. 
To ser\'e God his creatour; 


Wherefore Jesu, that was of a maid bora 
To buy man's soul tliat was forloni^ 
And rose from death the third day^ 
And ied man's soul from hell awaj^ 
On their souls have mercy ! 
And ye, that have heard this story, 
God give you all his blessing. 
And of his grace to your ending ; 
And joy, and bliss, that ever shall be I 
Amen, Amen, for charite! 







*' Camden, (to us^ the words of Mr. Ritson,) 
with singular puerility, says that, at the coming in 
of the Normans, one Bogo, or Beavose, a Sojcon, 
had this title (of Earl of Winchester) j who, in 
the battle of Cardiff' in Wales, fought against the 
Normatis, For this, however, in a way too usual 
with him, he cites no authority ; nor does any an- 
tient or veracious historian mention either Bogo, 
Beavose, or the battle of Cardiff," &c. (Dissert, on 
Romance and Minstrelsy, p. xciii.) The critic 
tlien makes a violent attack on Mr. Warton, for 
representing Bevis as a Saxon chieftain ; but War- 
ton probably derived his intelligence from Selden, 
who, in his notes on the Poly-Olbion (canto 2. 
p. 702 of tlie 8vo edit.) gives the following ac- 
count : 


'^ About the Norman invasion was Bevis famous 
with the title of Earl of Southampton } Duneton 
in Wiltshire known for his residence. — His sword 
is kept as a relique in Arundel Castle j not equal- 
ling in length (as it is now worn) that of Edward 
III. at Westminster." 

It is presumed that these notices^ imperfect as 
they are, will be thought a sufficient excuse for 
considering this romance as founded on Saxon 

Sir Bevis, whatever may be his demerits, appears 
to have enjoyed a high degree of popularity. 
Three MS, copies of this romance in English 
verse, are still extant in our public libraries ; viz. 
in the Auchinleck MS. of the Advocates' Library,- 
Edinburgh j in the public library, Cambridge j 
and in that of Caius College. A fourtli (Dr. Mon- 
ro's) was in the possession of the late Dr. Fariner. 
Of the printed editions, the earliest and mo^t valu- 
able was that of Pynson, of which a copy is pos- 
sessed by Mr. Douce 3 two were printed by Cop- 
land, and one by East. Those of later date are 
more numerous. 

The following abstract was principally taken 
from the Caius Coll. MS. the omissions in which 
have been generally supplied by Pynson's printed 


'^ And hath him led with him away 
'^ Into the Fairy, sir, par ma fey,** 

Was Amys,*' quod Herhaud, '^ your hnsban^i 

A doughtier knight was none in land ! *' 

Then told Herhaud to Raynbron, 

How he loved his father Guyon. 

Then said Raynbum, '' For thy sake 
'^ Tomorrow I shall the way take> 
'^ And never more come again 
" Till I bring Amys of tlie mountain." 

Raynbum rose in the morning early 

And armed him full richly. 

He said, ^' Herhaud, here be you j 
*' To fetch Amys I shall go now.^* 

Raynburn rode till it was noon. 

Till he came to a rock of stone -, 

There he found a strong gate ; 

He blessed him, and rode in thereat. 

He rode half a mile the way ; 

He saw no light that came of day; 

Then came he to a water broad. 

Never man over such one rode ! 

Within he saw a place green ; 

Such one had he never erst seen. 

Within that place there was a palace,' 

Closed with walls of heathenness. 


her affections on a younger lover^ SirMurdotnv 
brother to the Emperor ofAlmayne: it was there- 
fore with a very bad grace that she submitted to 
the positive commands of her father, who preferred 
to this illustrious son-in-law an alliance with the 
sturdy earl of Southampton. She submitted how- 
ever : she became the mother of Bevis, for whom 
she never felt a mother's affection; and continued, 
during eight years, to share the bed of a husband 
whom she hated^ and whose confidence she studied 
to acquire for the sole purpose of insuring his de» 

Having matured her project, and gained over io 
her interests a number of her husband's vassals^ 
she selected a trusty messenger whom she direct* 
ed to salute her lover on her part, 

*' And bid him, on the first day, 

*' That cometh in the month of May, . 

" Howso that it be, 
*' That he be with hXsferde^ prest-f. 

For to fight in that forest 
Upon the sea : 
*' Thider I wol my lord send, 
*' For his love, for to schendeX, 

*' With little meyne. 

army. f ready. \ to ruin ordestroy him. 


" And say^ that ii be nought lileved*, 
'' That he ne smyte off hb heved^ 
" And send it me." 

Sir Murdour returned an answer expressive of 
the warmest gratitude^ and joyfully undertook his 
share of this atrocious project. He assembled a 
small troop of armed knights, embarked with 
them, landed near Southampton^ and, taking his 
station in the forest, patiently waited for his vic- 
tim. In the mean time the lady appeared to be 
suddenly indisposed; and, sending for her lord, in- 
formed him, that " an evil on her was ^e," and 
thajt she longed to eat of the flesh of a wild boar 
from his forest, such food being a sovereign re- 
medy for her disease. Sir Guy, widiout hesita- 
tion, undertook to procure the object of her wishes j 
and, riding into the forest with his hounds, was 
soon encompassed by the troops of his treacherous 
rival, who after bidding him defiance, and avowing 
his purpose of murder, magnanimously assaulted 
the defenceless veteran. A few attendants, who 
had followed their master to the chace, instantly 
fled in confusion ^ but the earl himself, though 
provided only with a simple boar spear, evaded the 
lance of his antagonist, threw him from his horse 

*' that no delay take place. Bylevel^Bzx, is to stay. 

SPS sm tftrts OF HAMrroim. 

upon tlie ground, and, drawing lus trosfy sword, 
defended himself with sach skill and courage that 
a hundred of his assailants successtvelj fell beneath 
his blows. The victory was .long doubtful ; bat, 
his horse being killed under him, the knight was 
at length overpowered by numbers, and kneeling 
ID Sir Murdour, who was now replaced on- his 
horse, earnestly prayed that he might be permitted 
to seek a more glorious death, and not perish by 
assassination. His base antagonist replied by ablow.^ 
which severed the head of the suppliant ftom his ^ 
shoulders 5 and, having fixed it on a spear, sent it to 
his mistress as the stipulated price of her affection. 
Bevis was at this time only seven years old ; but 
so premature were his strength and courage, that 
his unnatural mother considered herself and her 
lover as insecure during the life of the infant hero." 
He had been fostered by his paternal uncle. Saber, 
an honest but irresolute man, of whom she fero- 
ciously demanded the murder of her child as the 
first proof of his allegiance. Saber did not risk a 
direct refusal, but, having killed a pig, sprinkled 
the garments of Sir Bevis with the blood, and sent 
them to the countess as an evidence of his submis- 
sion } while he disguised his foster son in the habit 
of a peasant, and enjoined him to tend his flocks 
on the neighboufthg common. He however pro- 



mised his papH to retire with trim, as soon as pos- 
siUe^ into Wales> to the court of an earl to whom 
ibej w^e related, and by whose assistance he 
might hope, when arrived at matnrer age, to regain 
his patrimony, and to revenge the death of Sir Guy 
on th6 adulteroQs couple by whom hts earldom 
was usurped. 

Bevts submitted with patience to Ihe necessary 
diange of dress, and quietly followed his sheep to 
the downs ; from whence he surveyed the palace so 
lately occupied by his, noble father, and vainly endea- 
voured to suppres&ithe rage and indignation which 
such an object excited. But when he heard the 
sounds of m-nstrelsy, which proclaimed the inde- 
cent revelries of his mother and of her base par- 
amour, he was seized with a paroxysm of ungo- 
vernable fury, and, forgetting the cautious advice 
of Saber, prec^tately ran to the castle and pre- 
pared to make his way into the hall. The porter, 
calling him *' whoreson harlot," attempted to turn 
him back from the gate 5 but Bevis, after telling 
him that he accepted the first epithet, but utterly 
disclaimed the second, knocked him down, ad- 
vanced into the hall^ and, after a few opprobrious 
exdiamations against bis mother and Sir Murdour, 
applied his cudgel so successfully to the head of the 
latter, that at the third blow he laid him senseless 

H 3 


on the floor. The countess vsunly ordered her. 
attendants to seize the traitor; the knights were all 
benumbed and motionless with astonishment^ and 
suflered the child to retire without opposition. 

Bevis, who at seven years of age had knocked 
down two stout men in one day with his cudgel> 
was much better satisfied with his adventure than 
was his unde Saber> whom he met on his fetam, 
and to whom he related thus laconically what bad 

" I wol thee telle altogedyr j 
'^ Beaten T have my step-fedyr 

" With my mace. 
" Thrice I smote him on the heved j 
" Lying in swoon I him by-leaved 

" On that like place." 

^ Saber said, '^ Thou art to blame ; 
" The lady wol do me shame 

*' All for thy sake. 
•' But thou wilt by counsel do, 
^ Thou might soon bring us two 

^' Into mickle wrake*,** 

But Saber was unable to devise any o 

* mischief A-At this place the author abandons tb 
neaiuret and relates the rest of the story in coupler 


worth foUowing. Scarcely had he reached his 
dwelling when the angry countess was announced ; 
and the only contrivance which his ingenuity sug- 
gested was^ to lock his nephew into an adjoining 
closet She reproached him with disobedience of 
^orders ; and^ having easily confuted all his evasions^ 
'Oidered him instantly to produce her son, on pain 
of incurrii^ the most terrible effects of her displea- 
sure. Bevis, who overheard her threats, hastened 
to show himself; when, calling two of her attendant 
knights, she ordered them to lead the child to the 
port, and to sell him as a slave to the captain of 
any ship who might be pr^aring to sail into 
Heaihenness. These instructions were punctually 
executed -, and Bevis, after a long but prosperous 
voyage, was carried to the court of Ermjm, a Sa- 
racen king, of whose dominions our author has 
neglected to ascertain the boimdaries, though he 
has described, pretty accurately, the state of his 

His wife was dead that bight Marage ; 

He had a daughter of young age, 

Josyan that maiden hete* ; 

The shoon were gold upon her feet. 

So white she was, and fair of mood. 

So is the snow on red blood. 

♦ was called. 


Wiierto should I tbat maid descrm > 
She was the fairest thing on-liTc ; 
She was so hend, and so well ytaught : 
But of Christian law ne oouth she nought. 

Eixnyn beheld with astonishment the strength 
md hcELutj of young Bevis ; and, having questioned 
hha conoeraing his country and parentage, was 
moch delighted with the simplicity and concise- 
ness of his answers. He declared it as his opinion, 
and even confirmed the declaration by an oath,, 
that a child who was so adroit with his cudgel 
coold not fail of possessing unusual prowess when 
of age to wield a sword ; for which reason he, at 
the instant, proposed to the boy the hand of his 
daughter Jo^an, together with the succession ta 
the crown, on condition of his renouncing Cliristi- 
9a\tj. Bevis, who had been inspired with a strong 
ven^ation for his religion, and felt no immediate 
want of a wife, rejected the oflfer without hesita- 
tion, at the same time expressing rather fireely his 
contempt for the Saracen deities. Fortunately, 
Ermyn was disposed to be pleased, and took this 
freedom in good part : 

And said, ''Whiles thou art a swain, 
*' Tliou shalt be my chamberlain | 


*' Ajod^ when thou art dubbed a knight^ 
** Mj banner thou shalt bear in fight** 

BcYU gratefiolly acc^ed these offers^ and con- 
tinuedj during seven years^ to make a progress in 
tiie itfections of the Saracen monarchy as well as 
in those of the beautiful Josyan. 

Ihe first exploit of our hero was of a yery dis- 
agreeable nature. He was now fifteen years old^ 
and consideied by aH £rmyn*s subjects as a miracle 
of strength and beauty. On Christmas day^ he 
happened to be riding out in company with sixty 
Saraoeoi knights, one of whom asked him if he was 
aware what day it was. Betis replying that he did 
not know, the other assured him that it was the fes- 
tival ef Christ's nativity 5 and a second knight added^ 
that it could not . but scandalize them, who were 
accustomed to treat their Crods with due reverence, 
to observe his inattention to his most sacred duties. 
Bevis answei^d, that having b^n sold as a slave at 
W9&i years old, and since that time surrounded by 
Heathens, he had no means of information respect- 
ing the religious observances attached to his faith 3 
but that if he were then a knight, as his father had 
been, and properly armed, he would, in honour of 
the true God, r^ily undertake to just with the 
whole company ; and trusted that, in such a causey' 


he could unhorse them all, one after the other. 
The Saracen knights, incensed at this speech from 
a young page, instantly determined to punish his 
insolence ; and, being all armed with swords, 
wounded him very severely before he had the 
means of making any defence. But bt lengthy 
having wrested a sword from the hand 6f one of 
his assailants, he exerted himself so successfully as 
to kill them all. The horses ran home to the 
stables, and excited a general curiosity respecting, 
the fate of their riders -, while Bevis, fatigued with 
his exploit, and smarting under his wounds, fol- 
lowed at his leisure, tied up his horse, retired into 
his own room, and, throwing himself on the floor, 
prepared to wait as patiently as he could till it 
should please Heaven to diminish the pain which 
he then suffered. 

Ermyn, though long trained to the use of power, 
had always been accustomed to dispense with the 
trouble of reflection. He generally acted from the 
first impulse, and this impulse was, at present, 
unfevourable to his young chamberlain. It was 
observed to him, that there would be no end of 
dubbing knights for the purpose of seeing them 
killed by Bevis j it was evidently shorter to put 
him to deaths and tlierefore Ermyn resolved on 
ordering Bevis to immeidlate execution. But 


^osyan haying advised that he should exert his rojal 

sagacity in examining the ctdprit^ he came over to 

this opinion) and the princess, who wished for 

some previous conversation with her favourite, 

dispatched two of her knights with orders that they 

should conduct Bevis into her presence. 

He was still lying on the floor, in great pain, and 
very much out of humour j insomuch that, having 
barely raised his head on the arrival of the two 
knights^ he told them, that were it not for the 
respect he bore to the sacred character of messen- 
gers, he should have punished with instant death 
their impertinent intrusion 5 and added^ 

I ne will gon a foot on ground 

To speaken with an heathen hound !** 

At the same time his eyes flashed with indigna- 
tion; and the ^ghtened knights^ thinking that 
they saw around him the ghosts of their sixty 
countrymen^ hastened back with this very uncbur<> 
teous message to Josyan, who only smiled at their 
terrors^ and, promising to be their safeguard^ re- 
turned with them to Bevis. 

Josyan cast her arms abouten his swere i 
On her he made a lothly cheer. 


She kist bim on mouth and on cbin. 

And began to comfort him. 

He said, " Mercy, Josyan, thine ore ! 
" I am wounded s withe sore.** 
" Sweet leman,** she said, in hast^ 
*' I am a leech with the best ! 
" No better salve I understond 
" Ne is in all Payntm lond, 
" Than I have brought with me ; 
'* And I wol thy warrant be !" 

But before she undertook the cure, it was neces- 
sary that she should conduct him to her father 5 in 
whose preseuce he related, with his usud simpli- 
city, the whole adventure : and such was the effect 
of his eloquence, or rather of his pallid connte-, 
nance and almost numberless wounds, tliat Ermyn 
burst into tears, and expressly commanded his 
daughter to exert all her leech-craft in his behalf. 
Josyan very willingly re^conducted her patient to 
his chamber^ 

Them they kisseden hem full oft. 
And she healed him sw)'the soft. 
So, within a little stound. 
He was both whole and sound > 
And all so fierce for to fight 
So is the falcon to the fliglu. 

snt BBTU or BAmnomi. 107 

Tins ended this petikms adveDtuie: and the 
XDinstrel^ nnwilling to attempt too rashly the narra- 
Hosk of another equally terrible^ here interposes the 
following admonitory couplet — 

For the time that Grod made^ 
Fill the cup and make us glad. 

There was in the royal forest a wild boar^ who 
had long been the terror of Errayn*s court. His 
size was enormous, his hide so thick as to be in- 
vulnerable^ and his tusks so sharp that no common 
annonr could withstand them ^ besides which, he 
\(ras distinguished from other ^boars by a contemp- 
tuous disregard for beech-mast and acorns, and by 
an unnatural predilection for human flesh, which 
he gratified at the expense of all those who ven- 
tured to attack him. Bevis, finding his strength 
restored, began to consider of the best modes of em- 
ploying it ; and one night, whilst he lay in bed, 
bickily bethought himself of the boar. In the 
morning he saddled his horse j took a good. shield 
and spear^ together with an excellent sword; 
spurred across the plain with a grace which fur- 
ther captivated the fair Josyan, who beheld him 
from her window ; and, when arrived at the forestj, 
dismounted^ tied his horse to a tree^ and began to 


blow his horn. The boar^ whether fh>m sleepiness, 
or from a natural indi£ference to such music, Uxk 
vo notice of the defiance 5 and Sirfievis, constantljr 
advancing, blowing his horn, and searching every 
thicket, began to despair of meeting his enemy, 
when he was directed to the animal's den by the 
human bones with which the road was almost 
wholly covered. He then thus tauntingly • ad- 
<lressed his antagonist : 

'* Rise/' he said, '• thou foul beast, 
" And against me batayle tliou hast !^' 

When the boar of Bevis had an eye. 

He set his bristles all on high ^ 

He stared with his eyen hollow. 

Right as Bevis he would swallow. 
*' Of thee/* said Bevis, *' I have mervail ! 
** Well have I set my travail.'* 

Tlie hunting-spear which our hero had chosen for 
this occasion was of unusual sti'engtli, but it was 
shivered at the very first onset. The sword was, 
fortunately, so well temi)ered that it did not break 
in his hand -, but he soon perceived that it made no 
more impression on the boar than it would have done 
on a rock of marble. But his ineffectual esertions 
were very fatiguing ; his situation became every 


moment more discoaraging ; and in a short pnijrer, 
which he tittered with great devotion, the £iinting 
hero confessed that he had no hopes of success but 
from the merciful interposition of heaven. During 
this time his antagonist, whose temper was natu- 
rally choleric, and perhaps rendered more so by the 
inflammatory nature of his favourite food, began 
to be in his turn much distressed by the eftects of 
his own impetuosity ; and, being unable to reach his 
too nimble enemy, became almost blind with fury, 
and breathless from exhaustion. Bevis, perceiving 
that the panting animal was unable to close his jaws 
without risk of sutifocationj instantly seized this ad- 
vantage ; and, when the boar attempted to regain 
his den> met him in his full career and plunged the 
sword down his throat. This blow was decisive. 
The hero, who firom his long education in a royal 
court was an adept in carving, now severed the 
■head from the body; and, placing it on the truncheon 
of his spear, bore it o£Fin triumph. 

During the life of this boar, the keepers of the 
royal forest never ventured to go their rounds ex- 
cept in complete armour, and in numerous compa- 
nies. Twelve of these happening to meet Bevis on 
his return, and perceiving that he was quite unarm- 
ed (his sword having been accidentally left with tlie 

body of the aniinal)> resolved to wrest from him the 


fruits of his victoiy. He had JQst emerged from 

the forest, and arrived within sight of the tender 

Josyan^ who from her tower had been angdouflljr 

watching for his return^ when he was suddmly as« 

sailed by the company of twelve armed foresters. 

But^ though armed, they were not invuhierable^ and 

tlie truncheon of a spear was by no means an ii^- 

^cient weapon in the hands of Bevis. At th^ first 

blow it came into contact with the helmets of three 

of these assailants^ and scattered their biraitis to 

some distance. A second stroke and a third were 

repeated with equal success j and the three stirvivor^ 

having made a timely retreat, Bevis quietly resumed 

the boards head, and pursued his journey to the pa- 

Jace ', where Ermyn, who had already learned from 

his daughter the news of this astonishing advenr 

ture, received him with open arms, and recom- 

jniended him to all his courtiers as a perfect model 

of courtesy and valour. 

Soon after this, an embassy was received firom 
Bradmond king of Damascus, whereby tiiat nlon- 
arch • signified his wish of espousing the fair Jo- 
syan, at the same time announcing, that a refusal 
t)f the princess's hand would excite great indigna* 
tion in the breast of tlie aforesaid Bradmond, and 
induce him to waste with fire and sword the whole 
territory of Ermyn. This mode of courtship, it 


ttmst be confessed^ was not coocUlatoiy. £rm3m 
\pas so furiously incensed, that, after having sum- 
moned his barons, he was unable to explain 
very intelligibly the cause of his indignation 5 but 
tbey took it for granted, and coUected their quotas 
of men, which, when united, amounted to twenty 


thousand. Josyan now represented to her father, 
that he would do well to confer the honour of 
knighthood on the invincible Beris, whose single 
person was worth at least half a dozen armies ; and 
her advice being implicitly followed, the young 
general prepared for the battle. 

fievis did on his acquetoun * 
That had aughted f many a town, 
A hauberk Josyan him brought ; 
jSoothly, a better was never jrwrought. 
A helm she gave him, good and fair. 
There might no thing it apayre %• 
Then gave him that fair may § 
A good sword that hight Mobglay : 
There was no better under the sun : 
Many a land therewith was won. 

* A wadded or quilted waistcoat worn under the coat of 
mail, but often taken for the coat of mail itself. 

f coet. \ impair, hurt, lessen in value § Tir^a. 


Josyan gave him, sitb then, a steed 

The best that ever on ground yede j 

Full well I can his name tell j 

Men called him Arundel. 

There was no horse in the world so strong 

That might him follow a furlong. 

Bevis in the saddle *ligiit, 

Josyan smiled that was so bright. 

Bevis gan his horn to blow. 

That his host should him know^ &c. 

Bradmond trusted very much to the hitherto un- 
rivalled strength of his standard-bearer, the giant 
Radyson, and not less to the vast superiority of 
his numbers -, insomuch that, when he discovered 
Bevis advancing at the head of his small troop, he 
thought it quite comical, and could not refirain 
from an immoderate fit of laughter. The battle 
began by distant skirmishing; 

But when that they had broke the 'ray. 
Fierce and mortal was that fray ! 

Bevis began by driving his spear through the 
huge body of Radyson ; after which he made a 
course of experiments to try the temper of his 
sword Morglay, and thinned the ranks of the 


enemy with such astxmishing expeditioa> that Brad- 
mond^ quite cured of his mirth^ thought only of 
securing his retreat^ and of carrying off two of 
£rmyn*s knights^ his prisoners^ whom be had 
taken in the beginning of the action. But in this 
also he failed. Bevis, borne with the rapidity of 
lightning by the incomparable Arundel^ quickly 
overtook the fugitive^ felled him together with his 
horse at one blow to the ground^ recovered the 
prisoners^ and signified to his prostrate enemy that 
he could only obtain permission to live^ by taking 
a solemn oath of allegiance and fealty to the once 
despised Erjnyn. Bradmond thought this condition 
very severe^ but frankly confessed that he thought 
the loss pf life stijl more disagreeable 5 and^ having 
repeated the formvla which constituted him the 
vassal of king £nxiyn> was suiiered to depart. 

The conqueror being returned to courts and 
having simply and modestly related his success^ and 
the important consequences which it secured^ was 
received with transports of gratitude by the king^ 
who immediately ordered his daughter to disarm 
the hero, to clothe him in a magnificent robe, and 
to serve him while at table. 

Then was Josyan right glad. 

And to her chamber she him ladde. 

VOL. It. J 


She set him soft upon a bed. 
Boards * were laid and cloths spread. 
When she had unarmed Bevis> 
To the board she him led, ywis. 
And made him well at ease and fine. 
With rich meat and noble wine. 
When that they hadde well eaten. 
And on her bed together sitten, 
Josyan, that was so true. 
Thought she would her love renew. 
She said, '^ Bevis, lemman, thine ore ! 
'* Than I can tell 1 love thee more. 
" Cartes, Bevis, but thou me rede, 
" For pure love I shall be dead !" 
Then said Bevis, " Josyan, be still j 
Thou speakest all against skill. 
Thou mightest have one all unlyche. 
King Bradmond that is so ryche. 
'' In all the world is no man. 
Prince, king, ne soudan. 
But they would have thee to queen, 
Gif they hadde thee once seen. 
I am a knight of strange land, 
" I have no more than I in stand.*' 
" Mercy, Bevis,'* said Josyan, 
*' I had thee liever to my lenmian, 

• tabid. 





*' Thy body in thy shirt all naked^ 

'' Than all the good that Mahoun maked. 

^ Bevis/* she said, '' tell me thy thought !'* 
Bevis sat still, and spake ri^t noo^t; 
She fell down and wepte sore \ 
She said, " Thoa s^est here before. 
There is no king that me hath seen. 
Bat that he would have me to qneen % 

*' And thou disdainest of me so ? 

" See thou out of my chamber go : 

More comely it were thee like 

For to hedge, and make a dyke, 

** Than thus to be dabbed a knight, 

" And to sit among maidens bright. 

" Go, churl ! out divsxffare*, 


'< And Mahoun give thee mickle care !" 
" Damsel," he said, " I am no churl; 
My Either was both knight and earl 5 
Unto my country I will me hie," &c. 


The dispute having now degenerated into a 
formal quarrel, Bevis restored to the lady all her 
presents, and, biddingher an eternal ferewell, retired 
to his chamber 3 while she, supported b^ the feel- 
ings of injured pride, made no effort to detain him. 
But no sooner was she left alone, than she began 

• wiy. 



to lament most bitterly her foolish piecipltation. 
She luui a £ivouhte and confidential chantberkdn, 
named Boni&ce, whom fifae immediately dispatched 
to her lover with a most penitential message^ con- 
juring him to return, and promising to make ample 
amends for the indiscreet wor^Js into which her 
passion had betrayed her. But tbe knight^ after 
bestowing oq her xxiessenger a magnificent present, 
sturdily declared that he would not stir a step in 
quest of her apology: and the tender Josyan, anxious 
to procure an immediate reconciliation, hastened 
to tlie apartment of her lover, met his ilt-humour 
with the most winning complaisance, and finally 
forced from him the avowal of a mutual passion. 

'' Mercy/* she said, '^ my lemman sweet! 

(She fell down and gan to weep) 
" Forgive me that I hare nds-said« 
" 1 will that yc be well apayed ! 
" My false gods I will forsake. 

And Christendom for thy love take." 

On that covenant,** said Sir Bevis than^' 

I will thee love, fair Josyan !" 

Bevis, it seems, had endured a long straggto 
between hi is affection and his piety j and Chougii 
liis heart had always done justice to the incom- 



parMe dbanns of Joty^n, the n^ectioQ thai tfaoie 
cfaanns bdonged to a heathen komnd had coDitntly 
chocked hb pastioD. That obstacle was nam ro* 
mowed ; and the happy^ oonple, during a verf kng 
interview, ganre wajr to the delight whkh bodi ds* 
lived Irooi their leootflctliatioD, perfectly uoooii* 
sdoiis that the severest calamity which had ew«r 
menaced tbem was now impending, and would 
prodooe a long iotenxtption of thw happiness. 

It will be reaien4)ered that Sir Bevis, in the 
late action, had liberated two knightB captured hf 
Bradmond. Not content with saving them frooi 
captivity, he carried them to his own apartment, 
entertained them ma^ificendy, and admitted them 
to the most intimate ^muliarity. They had thus an 
opportunity of witnessing the interview between 
Bevis and Josyan ; and, hastening to the king, in- 
formed him that his daughter was become a rene- 
gade, and was preparing to form, an indissoluble 
cormectionwith the Christian kni^t, the enemy of 
his majesty's holy religion. 

Ermyn was nmc^ distuibed by this intelligenoe. 
The crime was such as he oould not pardon 5 jet it 
was neither honourable nor safe to attempt the 
public ponishment of Sir Bevis. But the treacfae- 
roos knights presently renaoved this d^Bcultyby 
proposing, that a letter shoold be written to kin<; 


Bradmond^ charging him^ on his allegiance, to 
aecure the perscm of his christian rival, and tbat 
Sir Bevis should iumaetf be the baaror cfitSa letter. 
The ne&rious project was immediately executed | 
and the knight readily accepted the embassy, only 
expressing his wish to take with him his good horse 
and iword, for the purpose of securing himself 
against the probable treachery of Bradmond^ 
But this proposal was over-ruled by £rmyn^ who" 
observed, that such precautions were contrary to all 
usage, and that the sacred character with which he 
was invested was his best protection : he addedj 

" And, Bevis, thou shalt unto me swear, 
'* That thou wilt truly my letters bear, 
** And, as thou mt true man lief, 
'* ISoi undo the print of my brief* " 

The young envoy, without considering that 
aealed credentials were much more contrary to 
usage than the precautions which he had desired 
to adopt, took the oath without hesitation, and 
departed, full of confidence, on his disastrous 
mission. ' 

Bevis was seldom provident. Much of his 
journey lay through an uninhabited country^ yet 

* break not the seal of my letter^ 


had he taken no measures for his subsistence 5 so 
that^ after traveUing three days with all the speed 
that his' ambUng hackney could exert^ he found 
himself very sleepy and hungry. He lay down to 
rest during a few^hoors^ and^ awaking with a keener 
appetite than before^ pursued his ^way through the 
forest^ where he had the good fortune to discover 
a palmer seated at his dinner^ which consisted of a 
(dentifid store of good bread and wine^ together 
with the unusual luxury of three haked curlews. 
The pilgrim^ perceiving that the traveller was a 
knight^ vailed his bonnet to him^ and respectfully 
entreated him to share his humble repast ; to which 
Bevis thankfully consented, and after a plentiful 
meal entered into conversation with his kind 
entertainer. He now discovered that this palmer, 
whose name was Terry, was the son of his uncle 
and foster-father Saber. That good man, un- 
willing to bear the tyranny of Sir Murdour and his 
wicked wife, had retreated to the Isle of Wight ; 
and, findmg tlie inhabitants fiill of loyalty to the 
ton of the deceased earl, had, with their assistance, 
defended the island against all the forces which the 
usurper cbuld bring against him. But as the pre- 
sence of Bevis was ^necessary to authorize any of- 
fensive measures, he had dispatched his son Terry, 
under ibe disguise of a palmer, into Heathenness„ 


with orders to discover his lord^ tnd bring him 
back to the assistance of his subjects. Bevis, un- 
willing to discover himself^ professed to be the oon* 
fidential friend of the yoting earl, to whom he {yro- 
raised to relate this important intelligence to soon 
as he should have finished the btisiness of his pre- 
lent embassy, and directed Terry to return to 
Saber with assurances of a speedy succour. They 
now separated, and Bcvis pursued his journey to- 
wards Damascus. 

The description of this famous city fieema to de* 
terve insertion. 

There was king Bradmond's paklce. 

Was never none richer the story says : 

For all the windows and the walls 

Were painted with gold, both towers and halls j 

Pillars and doors all were of brass *, 

Windows of htten * were set with glass : 

It wds so rich in many wise. 

That it was like a paradise. 

About the paldce tliere was a dyke, 

In hrede\ And deepness there was none like j 

Over the dyke a bridge there lay. 

That man and beast might pass away : 

• a mixed metal of the colour of brass.— Tyrwhit 

f breadth^ 


Under the bridge were sixty bells. 
Right as the romance tells^ 
That there might no man pass in 
But all they rang with a gin*. 
At the bridge end stood a tower 
Fainted with gold and with aziire : 
Rich was it to behold. 
Thereon stood an eagle of gold -, 
His eyea were of precious stones. 
Of great virtue for the nonce ; 
The stones were so rich and bright 
That all the palace shone of lights &c. 

Bevis had never before seen so much magnifi- 
cence ', but he was too impatient to lose time in 
satisfying his curiosity : he passed on, and presently 
found himself entangled in a crowd of Saracens, 
who were preparing a sacrifice to an idol repre- 
senting Mahomet. This offensive sight suspended 
in his mind all recollection of bis business at 
Damascus ^ he presated through the multitude, 
forced his way to tlie idol, seized it by its golden 
crown, and threw it into the dirt, desiring the 
people to go and help a god who was no wevidently 
incapable of helping them. The sudden act of 
sacrilege raised a general cry c^ indignation against 

* by a mechanical contrivance. 


the insolent stranger^ and a thousand hands wer6 at 
once raised to seize him ; but Bevis, though de- 
prived of Morg]ay> had by his side a comalon 
sword^ and began forthwith to cat o£F the heads of 
his assailants with a dexterity which was truly mar- 
vellous. The crowd ran with precipitation towards 
the palace, followed by the ambassador, who con-, 
tinned his operations till he reached the king*s pre- 
sence ', when, dropping on his knees, he delivered 
his credentials, accompanying them with an ora^ 
tion expressive of his contempt for his majesty*^ 
sacred person, and for the believers in Mahomet 
of all ranks and conditions. 

Bradmond, taking the letter, ordered a clerk to 
read it, and heard its contents with equal surprise 
and pleasure. After reproaching Bevis with his 
unprovoked attack on the people of Damascus, and 
on the wooden Mahomet, whose vengeance had so 
suddenly overtaken him, the king held a short 
council, and then ordered that the knight should be 
seized, and confined in a deep dungeon inhabited 
only by two dragons, who were in the habit of de- 
vouring their fellow-prisoners ; and at ' the same 
time he remarked to the culprit, that the generous 
and grateful Erjnyn, for whom he had gained, at 
the risk of his life, a decisive victory, was the real 
author of this sentence. Sir Bevis resisted as long 


at lieeonld, and had de rt ni ye da coostderable ntun- 
ha af Jus CDem»s, when his sword broke in hb 
haxkd, and he was at lengdi secured^ his arms being 
tied behind him with such violence that the Mood 
burst forth from hb fingers* ends. He was now 
ccmdocted into the great hall of the palace, traced 
in a knight*s stall, and fed, with much appearance 
of ceremony, by a Saracen knight, the king at the 
same time recommending to him to eat with a good 
appetite, as he now saw before him the last luxuries 
of which he would ever taste. He was next lowered 
into the dungeon, where his hands were unbound, 
and he was left to defend himself as well as he could 
against the two dragons, who shortly after made their 
appearance and attacked him : but, having luckily 
found the truncheon of a staff, he fought the mon* 
sters during a whole day and nfght, and ultimateij 
destroyed them ; after which he devoutly returned 
thanks to Heaven for his victory. Some wheat- 
bran was daily let down into the dungeon for his 
support; but neither meat nor com was allowed 
him; and 

~ Rats and mice, and sucli small deer. 
Was his meat that seven year. 

While Bevis was langubhing in this miserable 
captivity, the tender Jos^ran was in a situatioa 


scarcely less pitiable. To her inquiries conceniiiig 
Sir Bevis Ermyn answered, that he was returned 
to England and married to a lady of high di-- 
stinction -, and to the grief occaiioned by this ca- 
lumny, which though she did not quite believe 
she could not disprove, were added the persecHi* 
lions of a new lover. Inob, king of Mounbr aunt, 
an empire quite imknown to modem geograj^y, 
applied for, and obtained from her father, the pro- 
mise of her hand> and, however unwilling to 
justify, by her own conduct, the supposed infide- 
lity of Sir Bevis, she was compelled to marry « 
man whose person she hated, aud whose religion 
she had secretly abjured. She had, however, ill 
reserve, a notable contrivance for preserving het 
chastity inviolate. 

" I shall go make me a writ, 

** Thorough a clerk wise of wit, 

*' That there shall no man have grace, 

" While that letter is in place, 

" Against my will to lie me by, 

" Nor do me shame nor villainy." 
She did that letter soon be wrought. 
On tlie manner as she had thought. 
About her neck she hanged it. 
She would not beguile Bevis yet. 


Thus armed^ she submitted to the marriage con-^ 
tract in pres^Ke of the king of Babylon and c^the 
sottdan o£ Persia, and departed with her husband 
towards his dominions. Inor had received from 
firmjm^ amongst other presents^ the good sword 
Mofglay and the good steed Arundel, whom he 
determined to mount on the day of his triumphal 
entry : but scarcely was lie seated in the saddle, 
when Arundel, perceiving some little symptoms 
of awkwardness in his new rider, scampered off 
with him 5 and, followed by the whole court, who 
were unwilling to abandon their sovereign, per- 
formed 80 many evolutions amongst the bushes 
and briars, and so completely disordered the seat of 
the too pctesuming bridegroom, that a sudden 
plunge threw him upon his back with a degree of 
▼ioloice by which the spine was nearly dislocated, 
inor was long confined to his bed ; and Arundel, 
strongly suspected by the grooms of some treason- 
able design on his majesty's life^ would have been 
starved in the stable, but for the charitable dona<^ 
tions of <:om which were administered to him by 
the attention of Josyan. 

During the seven years of his imprisonment, 
Bevis had made so great a pro^ciency in the Chris- 
tian vhtues, as to deserve to receive a visit from an 
iogel^ ^2io coodescooded to cure him of a wound 

126 SIR BEVIS OF hamptouk; 

inflicted by an adder in crawling over him. En- 
couraged by this miraculous event, he began to prajr 
to Heaven with increased fervour for his delive- 
rance out of the dungeon j when the tremulous 
tones of his voice attracted the attention of his two 
gaolers, who, encouraged by his apparent weakness, 
determined to murder him. Thef first who de- 
scended made a blow at him with his sword^ which 
^lled him to the ground 5 but Bevis, soon rising, 
returned the compliment with his fist and killed 
the assailant : then assuming a feigned voice, he 
easily decoyed down the other assassin, whom he 
instantly dispatched with the sword of his com- 
panion. But the victory had nearly proved fatal to 
the victor. With his gaolers died all hopes of his 
daily allowance of food 5 but, after three days of 
dreadful abstinence, his steadfast piety was re^ 
warded by a new miracle. The massive chain, by 
which his middle was fastened to the rock of his 
dungeon, suddenly gave way ; he fell on his knees 
tb thank Heaven for his deliverance -, and, seizing 
the rope by which the gaolers had descended, easily 
gained the surface of the pit in which he had been 
so long entombed. 

' This escape took place rather before the dawn of 
days ^^ ^^ ^^^^ heard sounds of merriment pro* 
ceeding firo^i the royal stables^ where the gropma 


were dressing the Idng's war-horses. Through a 
h(Ae in the wall he then discovered a pile of ar- 
moar, and^ bursting open the door with a kick of 
bis foot, found little difficulty in killing a dozen of 
wretches, whom his cadaverous appearance, and 
his long hair which trailed upon the ground, had 
rendered stupid with astonishment. He then 
arroed himself at his leisure j saddled and mounted 
the best horse in the stable, galloped to the palace 
gates, and, loudly taxing the porter with negli- 
gence for suffering Sir Bevis to escape from prison, 
commanded the draw-bridge to be instantly low- 
ered ; was obeyed without hesitation, set spurs to 
his horse, and galloped off into the neighbouring 
forest. Here, however, he soon lost his way, and, 
after riding till tlie approach of night, was so over- 
come by sleep, that he was obliged to dismount and 
lie down to rest at a short distance from the city 
which he had quitted in the morning. , 

In the mean time, the gaolers being missed, and 
the dungecm searched, the news of Sir Bevis*8 
escape was conveyed to the king, who, collecting 
all hb knights, inmiediately set off in pursuit of the 
fugitive. The most formidable of these knights 
was Sir Graundere, the proprietor of a valuable 
horse named Trenchefyi; and such was the speed 
#f thii courser, that he overtook Sir Bevis, who 


had at length discovered the right road 5 whilst the 
king and his other vassals, though well nlounted, 
had scarcely advanced a few miles in their pursuit 
Bevis, thus compelled to defend himself, turned 
upon bis adversary, pierced him through the heart 
widi the first thrust of his spear, took possession of 
Trenchefys, and continued his flight ; but, having 
again mistaken his way, he at length came in sight 
of tiie sea, c<xistantly followed by king Bradmond 
and his army of knights. In this desperate situa- 
tion our hero, recommending himself to €rod, 
spurred his steed into the water, and the indd^ti-* 
gable Trenchefys swam with him to the opposite 

So much, however, was he ^ifeeibled by want of 
food, that when his horse, on reaching the dry 
ground, began to shake himsdf, he fell out of the 
saddle ; but speedily remounted, and, continuuig 
his journey, soon arrived at a fair castle, on the 
walls of which stood a lady, whom he eagerly 
besought, for the love of God, to give faim a meats 
meat. The lady answered, tiiat her k>Fd was a 
giant and an infidel, and therefore conjured the 
christian stranger to seek a more hospitable mim- 
sion. But Be vis was inflexible 3 he declared tiiat, 
leaving no wish to die of hunger, he was resolved 
to dine in that castle, either as a guest or bj force. 




This being annoanced to the giant, he seized an 
iron door-bar in his hand^ and thus addressed Sir 

" What art thou. Sir swyse* 9 
*' Where stalest thou Trenchefyse 

That thou sittest upon here ? 

He was my brother's. Sir Graundere," 
*' God wot," then said Bevys, 
" I shape \ Sir Graundere a crown, ywis, 
" When we last met in bataile j 
^' I made him deacon, without fail 5 
*' And, if thou 'wilt orders take, 
" A priest," said Bevys, '' I shall thee make." 

This elegant conversation ended by a terrible 
combat. The giant aimed a blow at his adversary^ 


which missed the rider, but killed the unfortunate 
Trenchefys^ he also threw a javelin with such 
force and skill that it transfixed the shoulder of 
.Sir Bevis, who, however, revenged himself by 
cutting off the giant*s head j and rushed into the 
castle, still calling on the lady for something to eat. 
She instantly set before him a plentiful dinner, 
which he dispatched with much rapidity, after order- 

• perhapt «< iweet Sir :** sums, dulcis, — Sax.f shaped. 


ing her> in the first instance^ to taste of every dish 
and of every kind of wine which was successively 
set before him. She then with a kerchief boand 
up his wound^ and stopped the effusion of blood ; 
after which he felt such an impatience to ^ gone« 
that he instantly ordered out the giant*s best horse^ 

• Into the saddle so he lept 
That on no stirrup he ne stept. 

He now ardently wished, whilst he rode over a 
beautiful green plain, that he could meet king 
Bradniond*s army, and cut it in pieces to accelerate 
his digestion -, but, as no army happened to meet 
him, he continued his journey to Jerusalem, where 
he confessed his sins to the patriarch, and received 
his absolution, accompanied by a strict injunction 
that he should never unite himself in matrimony 
with any but a clean maid; an injunction, to 
which the penitent readily promised a constant 

On quitting Jerusalem, his wishes naturally led 
him to take the road to Ermony ; but he had not 
advanced far, when he met a gentle knight, who 
had been in his service at the court of king Ermyn, 
and who related to him all the ciroumstmces of 


Jo87an*s marrii^e to Inor king of Moimbniiint 
To this country^ therefore, he pointed his steps, 
after receiving from the knight an exact description 
of die road : and, having reached the principal city, 
determined to enter it in disguise ; for which pur- 
pose he exchanged dresses with a poor palmer. 
The king, he was told, was then hunting, but the 
queen was in her tower : to this tower therefore he 
proceeded. At the gate stood a crowd of pilgrims, 
waiting for their share of the food which the cha- 
ritable Josyan was in the habit of daily distributing 
to poor Christians -, but as the hour of dinner was 
not arrived. Sir Bevis proceeded to examine the 
exterior of the palace, and had the satisfaction, in 
passing under the windows of her turret, to hear 
the voice of his mistress, who was praying to heaven 
with great fervency 5 and he was sufficiently near 
to dbtingnish that he was not forgotten in her de- 
votions. He then returned to the gate 5 was 
Welcomed by her as an indigent stranger j was 
placed by her, at the head of the board plentifully 
fed; and was then requested to relate whether, in 
the course of his travels, he had ever seen or heard 
of Sir Bevi?. He professed to be the most intimate 
friend of that kni^t, by whom he had been sent 
into various countries in search of a steed called 
Arundel. The queen, on this assurance, led the 

K 2 


disguised stranger to Aronders stable; and that 
faithful horse no sooner heard the voice of his 
master, than he burst asunder seven chains by 
which he was fastened to the stalls and ran out of the 
stable door. She now expressed her fears lest the 
mischievous animal should escape, and throw the 
whole town into consternation ; but Bevis, laugh- 
ing at her fears, approached the steed, whs seemed 
to expect with anxiety the commands of his well- 
known rider. 

Bevis himself in the saddle threw, 
, And thereby Josyan anon him knew. 

She said, " Bevis, my lemman dear^ 
'^ Ride not fro me in no manere ! 
*' Thou promised me for wife to take, 
" When I my false gods did forsake : 
" Help me, Bevis, now at this need ! 
" For thou hast Arundel thine own steed j 
'' I shall thee fetch lliy sword Morglay -, 
*' And lead me, Bevis, with thee away! " 

Sir Bevis answered; '' By Saint Jame 
" If I thee love I were to blame ! 
** For thee I lay in prison strong 
*' Seven year, and that was long ! 

Also the patriarchy on my life. 

Charged me never to take wife 


" But if she were a maiden clean ; 

*' And seven year hast thou been queen^ 

** And every night a knight by thee : 

*' How shouldest thou then a maiden be ?" 

'* Mercy, Sir Bevis," then said she, 

*' Have me home to thy countree : 

*' But ye find me a true wom^, 

'' In all that ever ye say can, 

*' Send me hither to my foe, 

** Myself naked^ and no mo ! " 

" I grant," said Bevis, '* that thou with me go, 

'' On that covenant that it be so. 

" Hie * thee fast, and make thee prest, 

'* If that thou with me go lest-f.** 

. It will be remembered that Josyan had a confi- 
dential chamberlain named Boniface. This prudent 
personage was fortunately present during this con- 
versation, and, whilst his mistress was gone in 
search of the sword, stated to Sir Bevis the danger 
of such a hurried departure, and suggested to him 
a much more rational project. '' The king,** said 
he, '' is now hunting in the forest, but he will return 
immediately. Should you carry off the queen thus 
publicly, you will meet with obstacles on every side, 
and be closely pursued. But take my advice : — Your 

* hasten. f list, choose. . 

134 fitn SBVIfl OF HAMFTOUN. 

disguise conceals you effectually; the king 'will 
notice you as a traveller, and naturally ask you for 
news. Tell him that you are just come ^om Syt'ia ; 
that Brad win, who is his brother, has been totally 
defeated by king Sjrrak; that the avenues to the 
country are possessed by the enemy, and all means 
of sending intelligence of his situation effectually 
cut off. The king will instantly hasten, with all 
his forces, to the relief of his brother ; and 4urtng 
his absence we may take oiur measures at our lei- 
sure, and escape with perfect-security." Bevis was 
convinced by this reasoning ; led back Arundel to 
the stable 5 and, having told his story to the king, 
had the satisfaction to see him depart on the next 
day for Syria. 

The city of Mounbraunt was, in the mean time, 
committed to the care of the king^s steward, named 
Sir Grassy, an active and vigilant officer : but Boni-» 
face contrived to give him a sleeping-potion^ during 
the operation of which Sir Bevis, arrayed in the 
best armour which the king*s treasury could furnish^ 
accompanied by Josyan on the peerless Arundel, 
and attended by the trusty Boniface, departed with<* 
out nseeting any opposition from the inhabitants of 
Mounbraunt The governor indeed awaked at last^ 
issued his orders for stopping the fugitives on tb» 
frontier, and followed them into a forest, where Sir 



Bevis^ haying reconnoitredtheanny of his pursuers^ 
£6it a great desire to amuse his mistress by killing 
a few thousands of them with his good sword Mor* 
glay; but Josyan insisted on taking refuge in a 
cave which was pointed out to her by the sagacious 
Boni&ce^ and where they effectually disappointed 
all the measures taken by the governor for their 

But Josyan^ after a strict abstinence of tvi^enty* 
fbnr hours^ began to feel herself very hungry 5 and 
Sir Bevls, leaving her in the cave with Boniface^ 
undertook to kill some venison for her support. 
During his absence, two huge lions came into the 
cave $ and Boniface, who, in addition to his other 
merits, had great dispositions to heroism, valiantly 
attacked them ; but in spite of his efforts the lions 
proceeded to devour him and his horse : and 

When they had eaten of that man 
They went both unto Josyan, 
And laid their heads upon her larme *: 
^ But they would do her no harme ; 
For it is the lion's kindf, ywis, 
A king's daughter diat maid is 
Hurt nor harm none to do :. 
Therefore lay these lions so. 

* lap. t nature. 


Bevis on his return found Josyan perfectly fami- 
liarised with the lions^ whom however she could 
not forgive for eating her chamberlain : she there- 
fore proposed to hold one of them by the neck 
whilst her lover attacked the other : but he insisted 
on fighting the two together ; and such was the 
comfort which he derived from the presence of bis 
mistress^ and from the conviction of her perfect 
chastity, that he cut off both their heads at one 
stroke. The lovers now dined, and, after duly be« 
wailing the loss of the faithful Boniface, mounted 
on Arundel and pursued their journey. ' 

They had not proceeded far when they met a most 
portentous and formidable giant, with whom the 
reader will soon become better acquainted, and whom 
we will therefore permit the author to describe : 

This geaunt was mighty and strong. 

And full thirty foot was long. 

He was bristled like a sowj 

A foot he had between each brow 5 

His lips were great, and hung aside } 

His eyen were hollow; his mouth was wide : 

Lothly he was to look on than, 

And liker a devil than a man. 

His staff was a young oak, 

Hard and heavy was his stroke. 


Be vis wondred on him right. 

And him inquired what he hight ? 

And if all the men in his cuntree 

Were as mighty and great as he ? 
" My name/' he said, " is Ascapard 5 
" Sir Grassy sent me hitherward 
" .For to bring you home again,'* &c. 

But this could not be accomplished \inthout a 
battle 5 and such was the activity of Sir Bevis, that 
Ascapard was never once able to touch him, while 
he himself was covered with wounds from head to 
foot, and at length fell down, after aiming a terri- 
ble but ineffectual blow at his adversary, quite ex- 
hausted ^th fatigue and loss of blood. His life 
was spared, at the particular intercession of Josyan, 
and the unwieldy monster became, from this time, 
the page of Sir Bevis. 

After this accession to their household, the lovers 
proceeded till they reached the sea, where they 
found a dromound (merchant-ship) ready to sail for 
Germany, but already occupied by some Saracens, 
who refused to admit Sir Bevis and his companions 
into their vessel. Ascapard immediately drove 
them all out; took up Arundel with Bevis and 
Josyan under his arm j embarked with them 5 and, 
drawing up the sail, arrived, after a prosperous 
voyage, at Cologne. 


The bishop of Cologne happened to be the bro- 
ther of Sir Guy and Sir Saber, and consequently the 
uncle of Sir Bevis, whom therefore the good prelate 
received with every mark of affection. Having 
inquired the names of the beautiful lady and ugly 
giant, his travelling companions, he^ learnt from his 
nephew their former adventures, and Josyan*s ear- 
nest desire to be solemnly christened j to which Sir 
Bevis added, that he should be glad if his unwieldy 
page could be cleansed from his pagan propensities 
on tlie same occasion. Accordingly, 

The bishop christened Josyan, 

That was white as any swan. 

For Aficapard was made a tun ; 

And when he should therein be done. 

He lept out upon the Irench *, 

And said, " Churll wilt tliou me drench f ? 

The devil of hell mot fetche thee ! 

I am too much J christened to be ? ** 

The author adds, tliat this indecent spectacle, 
though it sorely grieved the bishop, afforded infi- 
nite amusement to the good people of Cologne. 

It was near this city that Sir Bevis had the ho- 
nour to achieve the most perilous adventure of 
his whole life : it is true that 

• brink. f drown. J too big. 


-Sir Launcelot du Lake 

Fought with the brenning drake ^; 
Guy of Warwick, I understand. 
Slew a dragon in Northumberland ; 
But sndi a dragon was never seen 
As Sir Bevis slew, I wene. 

It seems that there had been two of these mon- 
sters in Calabria, who completely ravaged that 
country, but were at length expelled by the prayers 
of a holy man. They then flew to Tuscany, and 
thence to Lombardy, where they separated. The 
one flew to the court of Rome 3 but in that land of 
devotion became immoveable. 

* Men say he is there yit. 

Enclosed round with clerkes' wit. 

The other came to the territory of Cologne ; and 
Sir Bevis, moved with compassion by the groans of 
a knight who had been touched by the poison of 
this monster, determined to attack him, though as- 
sured by all the inhabitants of the country that 
no one but Si. Miclmel was able to maintain a con- 
test with such a serpent. 

Ascapard, in the first instance, readily undertook 
to attend his master on this occasion j but the mere 

* burning dragon. See an account of this adventure in 
Malory's Morte Arthur, lib. xi. cap. i 


dissonance of the dragon* s vcMce, which he heard 
at a great distance^ had such an effect on his ears^ 
that he declared his resolution to return, arowing 
that he would not undertake, " for all the realms 
of heathenness,'* to look into the throat from whicli 
such a voice had issued. Sir Bevis therefore was 
left alone : yet he proceeded, in spite of the mon- 
8ter*s hideous yell, to attack him with his good 
sword Morglay 5 and, though the first lash of the 
dragon*s tail broke one of his ribs and felled him to 
the ground, whilst his sword made no impression 
on the impenetrable scales of his enemy, continued 
the battle with great obstinacy, until, in retreating 
to avoid the poisonous breath of the dragon, he fell 
backwards into a well full of water. , Luckily for 
him, a female saint had bathed in this water ; and 
had thereby imparted to It such marvellous efficacy, 
that, whilst it heale^d the wound and restored the 
almost exhausted strength of the Christian hero, 
it effectually impeded the attack of the dragon. 
Sir Bevis'now renewed the combat 3 but tlie serpent 
spouting on him about a gallon of venom, he in-^ 
stantly fell senseless on the ground, where his ene- 
my continued to whip him with his tail, till he 
whipped him a second time into the miraculoi^s 
well. Here he again recovered his senses, and be- 
gan to say his prayers with much devotion -, after 



which he adjusted at his leisure the several pieces 
of his armour which had been discomposed by the 
rough treatment which they had met with whilst 
he lay on the ground 5 and finally issued again 
from the well, and wielded the good sword Morglay 
with a degree of vigour which his wearied enemy 
was no longer willing to encounter. The dragon 
now began to retreat in his turn 3 but Bevis, follow- 
ing him, had the good fortune to cut off about five 
feet of that wicked tail fix>m which he had sufiered 
such dreadful bruises 5 after which, he had little 
difficulty in severing the monster's head fix)m the 
body. Having then returned thanks to heaven for 
this signal victory, he returned in triumph to Co- 
logne with the dragon's head, and was received by 
the people and by the good bishop as the deliverer 
of the countxy. 

Having acquired such claims to the bishop's gra- 
titude. Sir Bevis applied to him for advice and assist- 
ance in promoting his long meditated project to 
revenge the death of his father. The prelate readily 
promised him a hundred knights, all men of ap- 
proved valour, who, he said, would rejoice to serve 
under the banners of such a distinguished leader } 
and this little troop requiring no time for piepara- 
tion, the knight took leave of his dear Josyan, 
whom he injxustcd ^ing his absence to the care of 


Ascapardy and, embarking for England, arrived, 
shortly after, at a port within a few miles of Souths 
ampton. He landed^ and marched towards that 
town preceded by a messenger, whom he sent to Sir 
Murdour, with orders to say tliat " a knight of 
Britany, with a hundred companions firom diflerent 
parts of France, was just arrived in quest of service, 
which they offered to him in the first instance, but 
'^ should, if refused, transfer to his competitor." 
Sir Murdour was overjoyed at tliis offer, which he 
readily accepted ; and, advancing to meet the stran* 
gers, ushered Sir Bevis with great ceremony into 
the hall, and paid him during supper the most 
marked attentions, in which he was faithfully imita- 
led by the countess. 

The assumed name of Bevis was Sir Jarrard^ and 
under this name he had the amusement of hearing 
a most curious account of his own adventures. Sir 
Murdour told him that Sir Guy, the first husband 
of the countess, was a man of ignoble blood ; that, 
perhaps for tiiis reason, his son Bevis became a 
mere vulgar spendthrift, sold to him his heritage, 
and then for shame quitted tlie country j tha*. Sir 
Saber, without any legal claim, attempted to wrest 
from him his purchase ; and that this was the quarrel 
in which he required the services of his noble guests. 
Bevii, during this relation,, was much tempted to 


punish on the spot the shameless efirontery of his 
step- father; bot he concealed his emotions, and de- 
termined to meet fraud with fraud. Addressing 
himself to Sir Murdour, he said, " Such being your 
quarrel, myself and my company, had we been able 
to come pr<^rly equipped, might have easily settled 
it. Indeed^ if you will lend us arms and horses, 
and provide us a ship for our conveyance, we will 
depart tliis very night, and will promise not to lose 
sight of Saber till your disagreement shall be finally 
adjusted.'* This offer was thankfully accepted; 
Bevis carried off to the Isle of Wight the choicest 
annour and the finest horses that his enemy could 
furnish; and, having joined Saber, instantly ordered 
a messenger to return to Soutliampton, — 

*' And tell to Sir Murdour, right, 
'^ That I am no Frenche knight; 
*' Nor he bight not Sir Jarrard 
*' That made with him thsitforeward * j 
*' But say it was Bevis of renown 
" The right heir of South-Hamptoiln. 
*' And say, his countess is my dame j 
" The Devil give them both shame ! 
" And say I will avenged be, 
*' Of that they did to my fatlier and me," &c. 
* promise, contract. 


• This being faithfully reported to Sir Murdoar> 
who was then at table^ he snarched up a knife and 
threw it at the ambassador of Sir Bevis^ but had the 
misfortune to aim the blow so ill that it missed the 
intended object and pierced the heart of his own 
son ; a circumstance which^ being immediately re- 
lated to Sir Bevis, was considered by him as a proof 
of divine interposition^ and as a mpst fortunate omen 
of his future success. 

We must now return with our author to the 
beautiful Josjan, whom we left at Cologne. 
There lived in the neighbourhood of that city a 
powerful earl named Sir Mile, who saw, became 
enamoured of her, and resolved to enjoy her. Jo- 
syan, to whom he communicated without cere- 
mony both his wishes and his determination to gra- 
tify them, only laughed at him, and frankly told 
hini that if he attempted violence he would meet 
^.with a very serious resistance from J||or, and not less 
from Ascapard. But the crafty German was aware 
that nothing was so easy as to over-reach the giant. 
He forged a letter to him from Sir Bevis, ordering 
his immediate attendance in an island which he 
described, and to which the obedient page readily- 
followed the bearer of the letter : after this, the 
gates of the castle into which he was decoyed being 
locked, a circumstance to which he paid little atten- 


tion, he patiently expected the arrival of his master. 
Sir Mile, no longer apprehensive from this quarter, 
sent an account- of his success to Josyan, who now, 
justly alarmed, dispatched a messenger to Bevis 
imploring bis immediate assistance, and then, after 
devising a variety of stratagems to escape her hated 
lover, at length fixed on th(| most extraordinary that 
perhaps ever entered into the head of woman. She 
calmly told Sir Mile, at his next visit, that she had 
ftwom never to surrender her person to a lover, and 
that hb power^ great as it might be, should never 
compel her to break her oath 3 but that a husband 
had rights which she could not with reason oppose, 
and that he might, if he pleased, become that hus- 
band. Sir Mile, overjoyed and astomshed at this 
declaration, thanked her with transport, and gave 
orders for the immediate solemnization of the wed- 
ding. They were inarried. 

There lacked nothing, verily. 
Of rich meats, and minstrelsy. 
When it drew towarde night, 
A riche souper there was dight. 
And after that, verament. 
The knight and she to chamber went. 
Withiq her bed when that she was. 
The £arl came and did rejoice, 
T^L. ri. L 


With barons, and great company. 

And possets made with spicery. 

When that they had drunken wine, 
*' Sir/* said Josyan, " and love mine, 
'^ Let no person near us be 
*' This night, to bear our privity, 
*' Neither knight, maiden nor swain ) 
'' Myself shall be your chamberlain !*' 

He said, ** Leman, it shall be so /* 

Man and maid he bade out go : 

He shut the door well and fast. 

And sat him down at the last. 

Josyan was waiting for this moment. She had 
made a slip-knot in her girdle, and suddenly passing 
it round his neck, and pulling at it with her whole 
strength, most effectually strangled him^^ and, hang- 
ing him up over the beam of the roof, quietly re- 
signed herself to sleep. Her rest indeed was so pro- 
found, that it was protracted much beyond her usual 
hour of rising. 

The barons gan for to arise. 
Some for hunting, some^fcn: kirk. 
And workmen rose to do their work. 
The sun shone 5 it drew to under * j 
The barons thereof hadde wonder, 

* ander-time; i.e.iune o'dock. 



Why the Earl lay so loi^ ia bed. 

Tho * they all wondred had. 

Some saiden, " Let him lygge still ; 

Of Josyan let him han his will.*' 

Mid-day came ; it drew to noon : 

The boldest said, ** How may this gon ? 

Wend I wol myself, and see 

How it may therof ibee." 

He smote the docn: with his hond^ 

That all wide open soon it wond. 
*' Awake, awake," he said, '' Sir Mile^ 
'^ Hiou hast isl^)en a long while ! 
'' Thine bead aketh, I wot right wel; 
^* Dame, make him a cawd^ !*' 

Jo63ran said, ^' At that sake 
*' Never eft wol his head ake; 
*^ I have eased him of that sore, 
** His head wol ake never more. 
*' All niglit he hath ridden idle, 
'' Withooten halter, withouten bridle. 
*' Yestesda^ He wedded me with wrong, 
" And at night I did him hong. 
" Never eft shall he woman spill e 
*' Now, dpeth with me all yoar will !** 

As it TRta notoriotts that she had been married t^ 

* WhfQ. 

L 2 


Sir Mile^ and no less so that she had murdered him^ 
tlie law condemned her to the flames ; and the ba- 
rons in his interest^ who were not a little offended 
by the haughty language of her ccmfession^ exerted 
themselves with great zeal^ in hastening the prepa- 
ration for her execution. Ascapard, from the walls 
of his castle^ happened to descry these preparations, 
and, suspecting some mischief, instantly burst open 
the gates of his prison 3 plunged into the water ; 
swam towards a fisherman's boat, which its pro- 
prietor, wisely deeming him to be the devil, hastily 
abandoned on his approach 5 paddled to the opposite 
shore ; and advanced with hasty strides towards the 
city« He was overtaken by Sir Bevis, who taxed 
him with treachery ; from which however he easily 
exculpated himself. The two champions then has- 
tened forward 5 exterminated all who opposed them; 
rescued Josyan fi*om the stake to .which she was 
ilready bound 5 and, placing her behind her lover on 
Arundel, shortly returned to the Isle of Wight, 
where the princess and the giant were duly wel- 
comed by Sir Saber. 

£oth parties now began their preparadons for 
war. Sir Bevis and Sir Saber collected a moderate 
number of knights, with whose valour they were 
well acquainted, while Sir Murdour summoned a~ 
large army from Germany, and was joined, in con- 


sequ^ice of an application from the countess^ by 
the kmg of Scotland. In the month of May, " when 
leaves and grass ginneth spring," Sir Murdour em- 
barked hb troops^ landed without opposition, and 
encamped close to a castle in which Saber had col- 
lected all his forces. The old man, disdaining to be 
besieged, had no sooner descried the enemy than he 
preparcKl to give them battle 3 and heading one 
third of his troops^ whilst the two other divisions 
were led on by Sir Bevis and by Ascapard^ began 
the attack with great fury. 

Sir Menes, the mouncheet so feer *, 

His steed he pricked again Sabere. 

His spear was long, and some deal keen ; 

Sabere him met ; and that was seen ! 

And though his spear were sharply ground^ 

Sir Sabere him gave a deadly wound. 

In the mean time Sir Bevis had solely attaqhed 
himself to Sir Murdour 3 had thrown him to the 
ground; but, being enveloped by numbers^ had been 
unable to make him captive. He therefore called 
loudly on Ascapard — 

■ ■ a nd to him said, 

'^ Ascapard ! now take good heed ! 


The emperor rideth on a white ste^d. 
* momieur si fier. Ft. 


" Thine hire I wol yield right well 
*' GifF thou him bring to the castel.*' 

Ascapard tho forth him dight^ 
And both he slew horse and knight^ 
And soon he took that emperonr. 
And brought him swithe to the tower. 

Sir Bevis rode swithe, great randoun y 
" Let boilen/* he said, " a great caldroun> 
^' Full of pitch and of brimstone, 
*' And hot lead cast thereupon !** 

Tho it did seethe *, and played fast. 

The emperor therein he cast. 

There he died and made his end. 

His soul to hell so mot it wend ! 

Houndes gnaw him to the bone ! 

So wreak f us, God, of all our foen ! 

By the capture and death of the chief the battle 
was of course decided ; and that nothing might be 
wanting to Sir Bevis's vengeance, the countess^ 
unwilling to survive her husband, threw herself 
from the top of a lofty tower, and was killed on the 
spot. The burgesses of Southampton, now at li- 
berty to express their real feelings, rushed out in 

• boil. f revenge. 


crowds to bail the approach of their natural ]ord« 
Sir Bevis dispatched a messenger to the bishc^ of 
Cologne^ who jojfuhj obeyed the summons. 

And wedded Bevis and Josjan 
With mirth and joy of many a man. 
Right great feast there was hold. 
Of earls^ barouns^ and knighfys bold ; 
Of ladies and maidens, I understond. 
All the direst of that lond. 
That all the castle dinned and rong 
Of her mirth and of her song. 

The reader will now be disposed to flatter him- 
self that this prodigious and eventful history is ter- 
minated : that Sir Bevis will in future sleep quietly 
in his bed, Arundel in his stable, and Morglay in 
its scabbard. But though the principal interest of 
the piece is at an end, the author is not yet prepared 
to part with his hero, who is still young and vigo- 
rous. He has also upon his hands two Saracen 
kingdoms, those of Ermony and Mounbraunt, 
which, according to all the laws of romance- 
writing, he is bound to convert to Christianity j 
and a giant, whose native propensities to wicked- 
ness it is necessary to develop. 

Sir Bevis had now avenged the death and re- 


gained the territories of his father, but he did not 
yet possess his hereditary honours; and it wait 
requisite thnt he should receive, at London^ from 
the hands of his sovereign, the investiture of the 
earldom. Tliis was readily conferred by king 
Edgar on a vassal, whose heroic deeds were already 
celebrated through the country ; and the monarch 
at the same time conferred on the knight the dig* 
nity of earl-marshal^ which had been also enjoyed 
by Sir Guy. But merit, though it may sometimes 
command court-favour, is very seldom found to 
retain it. 

In summer it was, at Whitsuntide 
When knight must on horse ride. 
The king a course he did grede*. 
For to assayen the best steed. 
Which weren both stiff and strong. 

Sir Bevis would not lose such an opportunity of 
proving the incomparable speed of Arundel ; and 
though, by some mistake, he did not start till two 
knights, his competitors, had already advanced two 
miles out of seven, of which the course consisted^ 
he persevered and won the race. £dgar*s son^ de- 
f irous of possessing the best horse in the worlds 
* caused to be cried or proclaimed. 


begged him as a boon from Sir Bevis ; and when 
the knight reftised to part with his old favourite, 
the niean-spirited prince determined to steal him. 
Bat we have seen that Arimdei was not easily 
€ompelIed to change his masters. AVhen the 
prince, having gained admittance into the stable, 
approached the steed with the intention of leading 
him away, the indignant Arundel gave "him a sud- 
den kick, and scattered hrs brains about the stable* 
Edgar, inconsolable for the loss of his son, swore to 
be revenged on Sir Bevis, and ordered him to be 
banged, drawn and quartered } but the barons 
reftised to ratify this unjust sentence, observing, 
tliat Arundel alone, being guilty of the murder, 
must suffer pimishment. Sir Bevis, however, pro« 
posed, as an expiation of the horse's crime, to 
banish himself from England, and to make over all 
his estates to his uncle Saber ; and this commuta- 
tion being accepted, he inmiediately departed with 
Arundel for Southampton. , 

Josyan was far advanced in her pregnancy whea 
the learnt the necessity of her immediate departure ;. 
yet she obeyed without a murmur, and set off 
nccom^nied only by Bevis and his nephew, Teny. 
Meanwhile, this change in the fortunes of Sir 
Bevis produced a considerable alteration in the 
iDind of Ascapatd. By betraying a master whom 


be had senred rather from the habit of 
tlian from gratitude^ he hoped to obtain the most 
important favours from his former sovereign -, andj 
having learned exactly the route which £evis in* 
tended to take^ he hastened to Monnbraont ; and, 
prDmising k'mg Inor to replace Josyan in his hands, 
obtained from him a company of sixty Saracens 
to assist in carrying her off, together with the 
assurance of a princely reward in the event of his 

The exiled travellers advanced but slowly. Josyan 
was seized^ in the midst of a forest^ with the |)aina 
©f child-birth } and Bevis and Terry, having con- 
structed a hut for her reception, together with a 
couch of leaves^ received her commands to absent 
themselves for a few hours, and then return to her 
assistance. Scarcely were they departed, when 
she was delivered of two knave children, and al- 
most at the same instant she beheld the ferocious 
Ascapard, who, well aware of the absence of her 
protectors, carried her off, M'ithout paying the least 
legard to her fears or entreaties. Bevis, returning 
with Terry to the hut, and finding the two chil- 
dren naked, and unaccompanied by their mother, 
easily guessed what had liappened, and swooned 
with grief 5 but, soon recovering himself, cut in 
two the ermine mantle of Josyan, which had for- 


sift BEVIS OF HAMt>TOUN. \56 

tonatdy been lefl behind ; carefully wrapped up the 
children ; and, mounting his horse^ pursued bis 
journey. A forester, whom he met shortly after, 
readily underto(^ the charge of one of the chil- 
dren, promising to christen it by the name of Guy> 
and to educate it with great care till it should be 
reclaimed : and the other was consigned to a fisher- 
man, together with ten marks, with directions to 
christen it by the name of Mile, and the ceremony 
was duly performed at the church-stile in his vil- 
lage. The knight and his yoimg squire now 
emerged from the forest, and arrived at a consi- 
derable town> where they determined to stay some 
time in the hope of hearing intelligence concerning 
Ascapard and Jos3ran. 

On a soleer*, as Bevis looked out. 
At a window all about. 
Helms he saw and Biyhnys bright : 
He had great wonder of that sight 

He learnt firom his host, that a tournament had 
been proclaimed at the request of a young lady« 
the daughter and heiress of a duke, who meant to 
give her hand to tlie victor knight. Though indif- 
ferent abQUt the prize. Sir Bevis was by no means 

* an upper room, solier, Fr. solariuniy Lat. 


indifFerent about an opportunity of justing, and 
Terry was still more anxious to prove his valour. 

Sir Bevis disguised all bis weed. 
Of black cendal and of rede. 
Flourished with roses of silver bright ; 
And that was thing of full great sight. 
They comen riding in the way, 
Bevis and Terry together, they tway, 
A knight was ready in that grene. 
And Bevis pricked to him as I wene, &c. 

In short, Bevis and Terry overcame all their 
antagonists, and tlie former was selected by the fair 
lady as her intended husband : but as she found that 
he was already married, and as heaven had blessed 
her with an accommodating disposition, she pro- 
iposed that he should be her lord only m clean 
manere ; and that if, after seven years of this Pla- 
tonic apprenticeship, his real wife should appear, 
she would then accept Terry as her husband. 
These terms were accepted by Bevis and by his 

But we must now hasten to Sir Saber, who, 
though rather an insignificant character in the prime 
of life, is become very interesting in his old age, 
and increases in activity as he ap{«oaches towards 


decrepitude. Saber was a great dreamer ; and his 
wife, who6e name was Emeborugh, was a great 
eipounder of dieams ; so that do sooner had Asca- 
pard carried off Jos3ran, than this couple discovered, 
by going to sleep, that some great misfortune had 
beMen Sir Bevis, and that he Iiad lost either his 
wife, or his children, or his horsey or his sword. 
Saber instantly summoned twelve of his best 
knights, cased them in complete annour concealed 
under pilgrims* robes, gave them lurdons or staves 
headed with the sharpest steel, and, assuming th« 
same di^uise, put himself at their head, and took 
the road to M ounbraunt He even travelled with 
fuch expedition that he overtook Ascapard, kille^ 
him with the first thrust of his burden, and, as 
aoon as his companions had destroyed the sixty Sa- 
xacens, which was very speedily effected, sent 
them home to his wife to announce the accomplish* 
ment of his dream. Josyan made an ointment 3 and 

Her skin that was both bright and shene 
Therewith she made both yellow and grene 3 

and, being thus completely disguised, accompanied 
Saber during near seven years, till Providence led 
them to the town where Sir Bevis resided. Here 
her faithful guide, having discovered his son Terry, 



delivered her into the anns of her husband ; and 
her children being sent for> she was restored to 
tranquillity and liappiness after her long and dis- 
astrous wanderings. 

We are now summoned to the country of Enno- 
ny, which king Inor« having lost all traces of Asca- 
pard and Jo?yan^ and thinking it necessaiy to vent 
his rage on that princess's father, had determined to 
lay waste with fire and sword. This news was 
brought to Sir Bevis, who, sending his lommans to 
all the warriors whom he had formerly com- 
manded, soon collected a respectable army for the 
defence of king Ermyn, and, putting himsdf at 
their head, together with Josyan, Saber, and the 
children Guy and Mile, marched to the capital. 
Ermyn was scarcely less frightened by the approach 
of his son-in-law than by that of his enemy ^ he 
throw himself on his knees, implored forgiveness, 
and finally pressed to embrace Christianity. The 
last article ensured him a complete reconciliation 
with his son and daughter ; and his subjects being 
easily persuaded tliat the true religion was that which 
placed Sir Be vis at their head, and ensured them 
from being plundered, the baptism of the monardi 
was soon followed by that of the whole country. 

The fortune of war \vi\s not propitious to king 
Inor, who was taken prisoner in the first engage- 


"''^Giit^ and tent to Ermyn, with whom it wis 

That his ransom ben diold 

Sixty hondrod pounds of gold. 

With four hundred beds, of silk eadi one. 

With qoiltys of gold fair begone, 

Fova hundred cappys of gold fine. 

And all BO manjr of maselyn *. 

The veneiable 'Ermytk did not long survive this 
good fortune. Finding bis end approaching, he 
sent for Guj, placed the crown on his head, and 
expired. The good Saber, seeing the fam\\y of 
Sir Bevis so well established, now became desirous 
of visiting his wife Em^wrugh, and, taking leave 
of his friends, returned to England. 

Guy being firmly settled on the throne of Er- 
mony. Sir Bevis and Josyan might have enjoyed a 
long interval oi trsmquillity, but for the machina- 
tions of a wicked thief called Rabone, at the 
court of king Inor, wira, being tolerably versed in 
the black art^ contrived to spirit away the faithful 

* A word of very uncertain origin. They were dnnk- 
io^opsy but how composed U doubtful. See Du Gauge 
in voce. 


■Arunclel. This was a .coostant subject of regret to 
his disconsolate master ^ but fortunately Sir Saber^ 
being now returned to his wife, had resumed the 
habit of dreaming, and found out that something of 
value had been lost which it was his business to 
discover and restore. He thcr^ore set off without 
hesitation for Mounbraunt, and, arriving in liis pil- 
gi'im's garb at a river near the town to 'which the 
horses were usually led to water, discovered the per- 
fidious Rabone mounted on Arundel. He imme- 
diately addressed the thief : 

" Fellow," he said, " so .God me speedy 
" This may well be called a steed. 
. ** He is well breasted without doubtj 
^* Good fellow, turn thee about." 
And as he turned hinl there. 
Up behind lept Sabere. 
He smote to death the thief Rabone 
With tlie end of his truncheon. 

He now set off at full speed for Ermony, and, as 
the news of ArundeVs esca{)e had been instantly 
c.'^rrIed to king Inor, was shortly followed by a little 
army of tlie best-mounted Saracens. But Josyan, 
who was standing on a turret, recognised the horse 
at a great distance 5 she spread the alarm 3 and Sir 


Bevifi^ putting himself at the head of a few followers, 
soon rescned his friend, and cut off the heads of all 
his impertinent pursuers. 

Inor, much disturbed by this ill success, request-^ 
ed the advice of his brother Bradwin, king of S3rria. 
Bradwin obsen^ed to him that he was a knight of 
great prowess -, that Bevis was not invulnerable ; 
that the event of battles was in the hand of Maho- 
met 3 and that he would do well to say his prayers 
with great earnestness and solemnity, and then to 
propose a single combat with Bevis. Inor, who 
was not at all deficient in courage, took the advice, 
and, leading an army into Ermony, thus addressed 
his adversary : 

'' Bevii, ihou shalt understonde 
Why we come into this londe. 
First, thou ravished my wife. 
And sithen reft my men their life* 
Therefore have I taken counsayl 

*' Between us two to hold batayl. 
And if thou slay me, by Termagaunt, 
I give thee the londe of Mounbraunt; 
And if I slay thee, nat forthy*, 
I will thou graunt me Ermony." 

* The construction seems to be,*' and if on the other hand 
1 slay thee: ** perhaps > a:Jbrthy is ruvertheless, 




These conditions were joyfullj accepted; and tlie 
two combatants rode, in the sight of their respec- 
tive armies, towarcfs a small island encompassed by 
a deep and r^id river. Inor had the honour of 
disputing the victory much longer than could have 
been expected, but sunk at last under the blows of 
the terribly Morglay. His troops were cut off to a 
man; after which Bevis, having put on the *' cony- 
saunce ** or coat-armour of his adversaiy, ncpldfy 
marched his army to Mounbraunt, and, b^ing mis- 
taken by the garrison for their sovereign, was ad- 
mitted without hesitation. Thus was he invested 
with a second empire, which he had the skill or 
good fortune to reclaim from Mahometanism by 
the usual methods; enriching all early proselytes to 
Christianity, and cutting to pieces without mercy 
those who persisted in their errors. 

One day, whilst Sir Bevis and Josyan were taking 
the pleasures of the chace, they met a messenger 
dispatched to Saber by his good old wife, to an- 
nounce that Edgar king of England had deprived 
their son Robert of all his estates, fdr the purpose of 
enriching a wicked favourite. Sir Bryant of Corn- 
wall. Bevis, who had bestowed these estates on 
Saber, considered such an act as a persraial insult, 
and deteiHnined to accompany his friend to England 
at the head of a formidable army. They landed in 


safety at Soathampton^ and^ maxdung rapidly to- 
\vards London^ encamped at Putney. Hei^ Sir 
Bevis left his troops, together with Josyan, Saber, 
Terry, Guy, and Mile, and, taking with him only 
twelve kn^its, repaired to the king, whom he 
fbond at Westminster, and, filing oa his kAees, 
humbly requested the restoration of his estate^. 

Edgar, always inclined to peace, would have been 
glad to consent 3 but his steward Sir Bryadt obser- 
ved to him that Sir Bevis was a traitor who tiiined 
vtp his horses in the habit of kicking out the brains 
of princes, and that he was still an outlaw, whose 
death it waft the duty of all good subjects to procure 
by every possible device. The king^ listening to 
this secret eneimy, gave no answer, and Sir Bevis 
with his attendants took up their lodgings in the city 
to await his determination : but Scarcely were they 
arrived at their inn, when they heard that a pro- 
clamation had been issued, enjoining the citizens 
to shut their gfttes> to bMtticade every stre^t^ and to 
seize Sif BeVis alive ot dead. The knight lioW 
found it necdssaty to proivide for his defence. Hd- 
ving artt^d himself and his followers, be sallied forth 
In hopes (j£ forcing^rhis w^y out of the bity before 
the ma^MinM of s^urlty should be tdtnplete ; but 
he iumddtati^y mdt the steward Sir Bryant, at the 
head of two hundx^ soldiers — 

M 2 


A stroke he set apon h\9 crown 

That to the ssiddle he clave him dawn^ 

So, within a little stouDd, 

Ail two hundred he slew to groond^ 

Thorough Goose-lahb Bevis went tho; 

There was him done right mickle wo ! 

That lane was so narrow ywrought> 

That Sir Bevb might defend him nou^t. 

He had wunnen into his honde 

Many a batayle in sundry londe; 

But he was never'So careful man. 

For iiker of sooth *, as he was than. 

When Bevis saw hi^ men were dead. 

For sorrow coutke he no redef I 

But Morglay his sword he drew. 

And many he felled, and many he slew. 

Many a man he slew tho. 

And out he went with mickle wo ! 

The destruction of our hero appeared inevita- 
i>lei after the disastrous adventure of Goose-lane, 
where his twelve companions were ingloriously 
murdered : but to Sir Bevis^ when armed with Mor^ 
glay and mounted on Arundd> nothing was wanting 
but a theatre sufficiently spacious, for the dispU^ of 
bis valour ) and this he found in the Cheap or.mar<> 

* foccertain truth. f could think of no cowMtL 


t-place. He was beset by innumenble crowds : 
t Arundel, indignant at the insolence of the pie- 
ian assailants, by kicking on one side and biting 
another, dispersed them in all directions to a 
stance of forty feet, while his master cut off the 
ads of all such as were driven, by the pressure of 
ose behind, within reach of the terrible Morglay. 
[n the mean time the news of the knight*s distress 
IS spread from mouth to mouth, and it was re- 
eled to Josyan that he was actually dead. After 
iKHiing with terror, she related the circumstance 
her sons, and, blinded by tear, proposed an imme- 
ite retreat. But they answered that they were 
ichfed to seek their father alive or dead, and, has* 
y requesting her benediction, collected four thou- 
nd knights, and departed at foil speed from Put-' 

Sir Guy bestrode a Ralyte *, 
That was mickle, and nought light f , 
That Sir Bevis in Paynim londe 
Hadde iwunnen with his honde. 
A sword he took of mickle mighty 
That was ycleped Aroundight, 
It was Launcelot*s du Lake> 
Therwith he slew ihejire'drake J . 

* an -Arabian hone. f weak. % fiery dragon. 


The pomel was of charbocle* stone ; 
(A better sword was never none» 
The Romauns tellyth as I you say, 
Ne none shall till Doomesday.) 
And Sir Mylys there hestrid 
JdrrnnmauLay^, and forth he rid* 
That horse was swift as any swallow. 
No man m^ht that horse begallow^ {. 

They crossed the river without opposition qnd^- 
cover of the night, and> having set £re to Liidgat^^^ 
which was closed against tliem, forced their wa(y 
into the city, and proceeded m learcli of Sir^^in. 
They found him untouched by aAy wo«od> bPHqtHt^ 
exhausted by the fatigue of a battle, which had.BQW 
fasted during great part of the day and the whole of 
the night. Arundel too stood motionless, bathed^ 
to his fetlocks in bloody and surrounded by dead 
bodies. The day had just dawned, and a burgher 
of some note, well armed and mounted> tiiade a 
blow at. Sir Bevis, under which the hero dro€4)ed to 
his saddle-bows ) but at the same instant SlJt Guy 
rushed forward : 

To that burgess a stroke he sei^t. 
Thorough helm and hauberk, dow9 it wi^; 
* carbuncle, f prol>ably die nupe of the taif* t«ot-gaUop(. 


Both man and horse, in that stound^ 
He cleaved dawn to the ground. 
His swurdjs point to the earth went. 
That fire sprang ont of the paveaient. 

Tlie ^tigoed and disheartened Sir Bevis immcdi- 
atelj recovered new life at the sight of his son's 
yaloiir ; Amndel too resumed hij wonted viraciiy ; 
and when Sir ^lile^ who rivalled his brother in gal- 
lantly, came tip with the rest of the reinforcement, 
the discomfiture of tlie assailants was soon decided. 

The blood fsli on that pavement 
Right down to the Temple-bar it went. 
As it is said in French romaunce 
Both in Yngelonde and in Fraunce. 
So many men at once were never seen dead. 
For the water of Thames for blood wax red. 
Fro St Mary Bowe to London stone 
That ilke time was housing none. 

In short, sixty thousand men were slain in this 
battle 3 after which Sir Be^is and his sons returned, 
crowned with victor}-, to their camp at Putney. 

King E Igar, alarmed by this dreadful slaugh- 
ter, of which Sir Brjant had been the sole author, 
and was fortunately the first victim, convened 
his council, represented to them his own wish 


for peace, and suo^ested, as the most efiediial 
means of obtaining it^ the offer of his only daugh-* 
ter and heiress to Mile, son of Bevis. The barons 
acceding to this proposal, tlie marriage took place $ 
and Sir Mile, in right of his wife, was crowned 
king of England. Bevis, with Josyan and his other 
son, repaired tp Ermony, where Sir Guy resumed 
the reins ^of government, and then continued his 
journey to Mounbraunt, of which he had reserved 
the sovereignty to himself. Here the amiable Jo^ 
syan was seized with a mortal disease, and expired 
in the arms of her husband : at the same moment he 
received information that his faithful Arunde] had 
died suddenly in the stable ; and in a few minutes 
the hero himself breathed his last on the lips of his 
deceased wife. Their remains were interred under 
the high altar of a church erected by their subjects 
in honour of their memory, and dedicated to St. 
Laurence, where they continue to work frequent 

God on their souls have now pity , 
And on Arundel his good steed, 
Giff men for horse shoulden sing or read ! 
Thus endeth Sir Bevis of Hamptoun^ 
That w^s so poble a baroun, 

p r .-.B ' c 

^ti0lo^j(Qorman ^Romance. 

: I 





1 BIS romance^ 9QCQrc|ing to Mr. Warton, has 
be^n thria^printed 3 first in 8vo, by W. de Worde^ iq 
l5€Qi 9gain by the same, in 4to^ 1528 ; and a third 
Ume, without date, by W. C. Mr. Ritson doubted 
the existence of any other edition than that of 15^8« 
of which th^e is a copy in the Bodleian library^ 
4to, C. 39. art. Seld. 

Of the MS. copies now known to exists the most 
suiti^nt is a fragment in the Auchinleck MS. in the 
Advocates* library at Edinburgh : this, however^ 
contains only two leaves 3 a second fra^ent is 
amongst the Harleian MSS. No. 469O3 and a third, 
which belopged to the late Dr. Farmer, is now in 
the possession of Mr. Douce. The most perfect 
copy ejiLtant is in the library of Caius college. Cam* 


bridge ^ but even in this several leaves are want- 

The following abstract is principally taken from 
the Caius coll. MS., the omissions of which were 
supplied in one place from Mr. Douce*s MS., and 
in all the others from the printed copjj whicl-, upon 
collation, was found to differ from it only by the oc- 
casional substitution of a more modem phraseology, 
where that of the MS. was probably considered by 
the printer as too antiquated to be intelligible. 

The English version of this romance (for it is 
professedly a translation), if merely considered as a 
poem, possesses considerable merit. The verse, it 
is true, is generally rough and inharm>)niou8 j bat 
the expression is of^en forcible, and unusually free 
from the drawling expletives which so frequently 
annoy the reader in the compositions of the min- 
strels. As recording many particulars of the dress, 
food, and manners of our ancestors, it possesses 
rather more claims on our curiosity than other ro- 
mances of the same period, because it was compiled 
within a very few years of the events which it pro- 
fesses to describe : indeed, there are strong rea- 
sons for believing that the first French original, 
and even the earliest English version, contained an' 
•uthentic history of Richard's reign, compiled from 
contemporary documents, although that histcny was 



afterward enlarged and disfigured by numerous and 
most absurd interpolations. 

Robert of Gloucester, and Robert de Brunne, 
frequently refer their readers to the romance of 
Richard for a variety of circumstances which could 
not properly find a place in a mere historical abridg- 
ment : it is therefore certain that such a work, pro- 
bably composed by some of the French poets who 
attended the monarch in his expedition to Acres, 
was known to these historians, and considered by 
them as a document of unquestionable authority. 
On the other hand, it is quite impossible that the 
many absurd fables introduced into the following 
narrative should have fbund credit with two sober 
and accurate historians, one of whom wrote befi>r8 
the close of .the thirteenth century. We must 
therefore suppose that the work in question, though 
written on a most popular subject, has by some 
accident been totally lost ; or that, in passing from 
hand to hand, it has gradually received the strange 
and unnatural ornaments by which we now see it 

The latter supposition is confirmed by the foU 
lowing strong evidence : — ^The Auchinleck MS. 
was unquestionably transcribed in the minority ci 
Edward III., and is probably earlier, by at least a 
century, than any other copy of Richard Corar da 


Lion. It consists^ indeed^ of no more than two 
leaves; yet the first of these contains, together 
with the prologue, the commencement of Richard*8 
reign^ which it relates In perfect conformity to our 
!regular historians^ totally omitting all the nonsense 
about Henry II. and his Pagan wife^ and RichaTd'ft 
amours in Germany, and his battle with the lion, 
&c. Sec. At the ^me time, if we compare tfaftt 
fragment with the correspondent passages in the 
more modem copies, we find them to agree linfe 
for line. It seems, therefore, that the poem in thfo 
Auchinleck MS. was translated from some earljr 
French copy, before the introduction of those Mo- 
tions which have given an air of fable to the whole 

If we possessed the French original^ we should 
probably be able, by an examination of the style^ to 
ascertain pretty nearly the date of the ^bulous 
additions. That they were introduced by some 
Norman minstrel into the French copy is nearly 
certain, because such liberties were habitual to 
them all ; whereas there is perhaps no one instance 
iti Vhich our early translators have ventured td alter 
any n^aterial circumstances in the story which thejr 
undertodt to give in English. Besides, from the 
frequent mention of the Templars in the romance^ 
it appears to have been written when that order 


■were at the height of their splendour. Now thej 
"were suppressed at the very commencement of 
tbe reign of Edward II., and probably before the 
first En^ish translation was completed. It may 
therefore be assumed that such an event, which 
occupied the attention and interested the passions 
of all Europe, would not have passed without some 
notice or comment, had not the translator felt it 
his duty to give an exact and faithful copy of his 

From the internal evidence of the fictions them- 
selves, the reign of Edward I. seems the most like- 
ly period which can be assigned for their invention. 
During the life of king John the remembrance of 
his heroic brother was probably too fresh to permit 
any material alteration of the real story; but seven- 
ty years of misery and of civil dissension, which 
elapsed before the death of Henry III., are likely to 
have diminished the recollection so far as to en- 
couriage the minstrels in making any changes in the 
poem which might render it more astonishing and 
more agreeable to their hearers, or which nught 
afford them an opportunity of indirectly flattering 
the reigning prince, whose character did in fact 
bear some resemblance to that of his lion-hearted 
ancestor. ■ 


Richard, we know, never visited the Holy Laoil 
till he appeared tliere at the head of a most formi-' 
dable army ; but Edward^ having taken the cross 
before his accession^ fought there as an adventu^ 
rous knight^ and, though almost without troopi^ 
greatly signalized himself by his personal valour 
against the infidels. Richard had no leisure for 
tournamentSj, but Edward had an opportunity of 
gaining all the laurels of chivalry in the ^mous 
lists of Chalons. Possibly these coincidences maj 
account for the perversion of some parts of thcr 
story : but it must be owned that the strange fable 
of tlie fair Cassodorien is equally inapplicable to 
Edward and to Richard -, unless we suppose that 
the author^ being embarrassed by the positive asser-* 
tion of the Scots^ '' that the kings of England are de- 
scended firom the devil by the mother's side,'' hoped 
to gratify Edward by tliis ingenious conapromise. 

Be this as it may, the most curious incident in 
this fable is certainly anterior to the reign of Ri- 
chard I., because it is preserved in the '' Otia Im* 
perialia" of Gervase of Tilbury, whence it is quo-- 
ted by Mr. Scott, (Minst. of Scot. Border, vol ii. 
p. 184, note.) It is there said that ^* the' lord of 
a certain castle called Epervel, having observed 
that his wife, for several years, always left the 

RICIf AI10 CXStnt DB LION. 1 77 

<3Mpd befere mass wm <:0Dclttded> onoe ordered 
his guard to detain her by force, ThecoDse- 
^neiice ytna, that, tinable to dopport the ele?ation 
6f die host^ 1^ retreated through the air^ cany- 
k^ wldi her one side of the diapel.'* Hw 
passage is in the editi<Hi of the Brunswick Histori- 
ans puUished by Leibnitz. Hanor. 1707* torn. 1. 

p. 978. 

Fordun^ after dwelling on the atrodons profli^ 
gacy of king John^ applies the same story to 
<tne of that prince's female ancestors. He says^ 
*' A certdn countess of Anjou^ from whom was 
defended Geoffiiey Hantagenet^ was married solely 
on account of her uncommon beauty. She seldom 
went tb diurdi, and even then avoided staying fox 
the cdebration of the holy m3^teries. This being 
dllferved by the count her husband, he one d^ 
eaused her to b6 held by four of his guards ; 
bat she, abandoning tiie mantle by which ihef 
tried to detain her, as well as her four chiklren> 
two of whom she had covered on each side with 
her dcak, suddenly flew through the window of 
fliechurdi, before the whole congregation, and 
was never more seen. Richard /., brother of John, 
med frequeatfy to relate this tmecdote; in expkt^ 
ftofjoft of the perverseness of disposititm inherent 

rot. II. » 


in himself and all his ^/Aerj.*'— Scotichron. axA 
Goodall, torn. 2. p. 9. 

The certain countess of Anjou mentioned by 
Fordun was, probably^ the celebrated Bertrade de 
Montfort^ whose uncommon beauty recommended 
her to Fulk^ sur-named Rechln^ earl of Anjou, 
and who> for the same reason^ was again car- 
ried off and married by Philip I,, king of France. 
Philip being excommunicated on her account, she 
returned to Anjou to her former husband, and 
caused his son by a former wife to be murdered ; 
but bemg again received by Philip, over whom 
her charms had procured her a most absolute sway, 
she continued to fill the throne of France till near 
the time of her death. It would not be surpri- 
sing if a woman so envied for her power, so 
odious from her vices, so long the object of papal 
excommunication, had been made the heroine of 
many such tales as this of Gervase and Fordun. 
She had, by her husband Fulk of Anjou, a son 
of the same name ; and this son married Sibilla, 
only daughter and heiress of the comte du Maine, 
and had issue four sons; one of whom was Geoffroi 
le Bel, earl of Anjou, second husband of the 
empress Matilda, and father of Henry II. For- 
dun* s authority, it must be confessed, is not worth 

much, where the character of our Norman princes 



is concerned; and it is not very probable that 
Richard used to relate the anecdote attributed to 
him. That impetuosity of temper which led him 
into rebellion against his father^ would rather 
induce him to glory in the crime^ than to ex- 
cuse it on the score of an hereditary disposition 
denved firom his great-great*grandmother. 

K 2 



Ljovld, King of Glory, what favours didst thou 
bestow on king Richard ! How edifying is it to 
read the history of his conquests! Miiny acts of 
chivalry are ^miliarly known ; the deeds of Charle* 
magne and Turpin, and of their knights O^er le 
Panois, Rowland, and Oliver; those of Alexan- 
der ; those of Arthur and Gawain ; and even thei 
antient wars of Troy and the exploits of Hector and 
Achilles, are alr^y current in rhyme. But the 
glory of Richard and of the peerless knights offing- 
land, his companions, is at present exhibited only ia 
French books, which not more than one in a hun- 
dred of unlearned men can understand. This story, 
lordings, I propose to t^ll you ; and may the bless- 
ing of God be on those who will li3ten to me with 
attention ! 

The father of Richard was king Henry; in 
whose reign, as I find in niy original. Saint lliom^s 

BiCHARD C(ByR i>t hlOKm ISI 

Was slain at the altar of the cathedral at Canterboiy^ 
where miracles are wrought to this day. Xing 
Henry; when twenty years of age^ was a prince of 
great talour ; but, having a dislike to matrimony^ 
could not be induced to take a wife on account of 
her wealth or pQwer ; and only acceded to the en- 
treaties of his barons, on the condition of their pro- 
Tiding for his consort the roost beautiful woman 
in the universe. 

Ambassadors were immediately dispatched ill 
every direction to search for this paiagon. One 
party of them was carried, by a fair wind, into th« 
midst of the ocean, where they were suddenly ar- 
rested 1^ a calm which threatened to prevent the 
further prosecution of their voyage. Fortnnatelyi 
the breeze had already brought them nearly in con-> 
tact with another vessel, which, by its astonishing 
magnifioeuce engrossed their whole attention. 
Every nail seemed to be headed with gold 5 th6 
deck was painted with azure and inlaid with ivory ; 
the rudder appeared to be of pure gold } the mast 
was of ivory 1 the sails of satin 1 the ropes of silk 1 
an awning of cloth of gold was spread above the 
deck $ and under this awning were assembled di- 
ters knights and ladies most superbly dressed, ap^ 
pearing to form the court of a princess, whose 
beauty was " bright as the sun throi^h the glass/* 


Our ambassadon were hailed by this splendid oom« 
pany^ and questioned about the object of their 
voyage ; which being explained^ they were ccm- 
ducted on boards and received with proper cere* 
mony by the stranger king, who rose firom bis 
chair^ composed of a single carbuncle stcme, to 
salute them. Trestles were immediately set; a 
table covered with a silken cloth was laid 3 a rich 
repast> ushered in by the sound of trumpets and 
shalms, was served up ; and the English knights 
had full leisure during dinner to contemplate the 
charms of the incomparable princess^ who was 
seated near her father. The king then informed 
them that he had been instructed' by a vision to set 
sail for England with his daughter 3 and the am- 
bassadors^ delighted at finding the success of their 
search confirmed by this preternatural authority^ 
proposed to accompany him without loss nf time to 
their master. A north-easterly wind springing up 
at the moment, they set sail, entered the Thames^ 
and soon cast anchor off the Tower 3 where king^ 
Henry happened to be lodged, and was informed 
by his ambassadors of their safe arrival. 

Henry made immediate preparations for the re- 
ception of the royal visitors. Attended by his whole 
court, he went to meet and welcome them at the 
water-side 5 from whence the whole company^ pre- 


ceded by bands of minstrels^ mardied in procession 
to the royal palace at Westminster, the streets 
through which they passed being hung with cloth 
of gold. A magnificent entertainment was pro- 
vided ', after which Henry, having thus fulfilled the 
duties of hospitality, addressed the stranger king : 

'' Lief Sire, what is thy name ?" 

*' My name," he said, " is Coebaringj 

*' Of Antioch I am king/* 

And told him, in his resmm*. 

He came thither thorough a vision. 
'' For, sothe. Sire, I telle thee, 

I had else brought more meynie 5 

Many mo, withouten fail. 

And mo shippes with vitail.'* 

Then asked he that lady bright, 
" What hightest thou, my sweet wight ?" 
'' Cassodobien, withouten leasing/* 

Thus answered she the king. 
" Damsel,** he said, *' bright and sheen, 
-*' Wilt thou dwell and be my queen ?" 

She answered, with words still, 
'' Sire, I am at my fiither's will.** 


* speech, oraison^ Fr. 


After thb tounship the king of Autioch^ wtiQ 
vas DO friend to unnecessarj delajTs^ pr<^K>sed tbK 
they shooki be betrothed on that nig^t ; and ihaX 
the nuptials, which he wished to be priTate, sbooM 
be celebrated on the following morning. 

These conditions were readily accepted, and the 
fair Cassodorien received the nuptial benediction $ 
but the ceremony was attended with an untoward 
accident. At the elevation of the host^ the ypung 
queen fainted away j and her swoon continued so 
long that it became necessary to carry her out of 
church into an adjoining chamber. The spectators 
were much alarmed at this unlucky omen j and she 
was herself so disturbed by it^ that she made a vow 
never more to assist at any of the sacraments : but 
it does not seem to have much interrupted the hap- 
piness of the royal couple^ because the tpieen be- 
came successively the mother of three children; 
Richard^ John^ and a daughter named Toftas. 

During fifteen years^ Cassodorien was permitted 
to persevere in her resolution without any re- 
monstrance from king Henry 5 but unluckily^ after 
this period^ one of his principal barons remarked 
to him that her conduct gave general scandal^ and 
requested his permission to detain her in church 
firom the commencement of the mass till its termi- 
nation. Henry consented 5 and when the queen^ 

mtmAKV GCEUR D£ LlOlf. 185 

oa hearing die bell ^^ch annouQced the cekbra* 
tioii 6f the stcramait^ prepared to leave the church, 
the baron opposed her departure, and attempted to 
detain h^ by force. The event of the experiment 
was rather extraordinary. Cassodorien, seizing her 
danghter with one hand, and prince John with tho 

Out of the roof she gan her dight *, 
Openly, before all their sight ! 
John fell from the air, in that stound. 
And brake his thigh on the ground ; 
And with her daughter she fled away. 
That never after she was yseye f . 

Henry repented, when it was too late, of his de- 
ference to the advice of his courtiers. Inconsolable 
for the loss of the beautiful Cassodorien, he lan- 
guished for a short time, and then died, leaving 
his dominions to his eldest son Richard, who was 
now in his fifteenth year, and was already distin- 
guished by his premature excellence in all the ex- 
ercises of chivalry. 

In the first year of his reign the young king caused 
«i solemn tournament to be proclaimed at Salisbury, 

* inade ready to fo. f seen. 


for the purpose of ascertaining^ hj experiment, the 
stoutest knights in his dominions. With this \iew 
he prepared three several disguises, in which he 
meant to appear as a knight adventurous, and to 
challenge all comers. His first suit of armour wat 
black 3 his horse was of the same colour 3 and the 
only device hy which he could be distinguished was 
a raven on the crest of his helmet, which had its 
beak open, as if panting from fatigue, and had a 
bell suspended from its neck. The bird, it seems, 
was an emblem of patience under labour and pain 3 
and the bell signified the Christian church, the 
protection of which is the principal aim of chivalry. 
Thus accoutred, he issued from a neighbouring 
wood, entered the lists, and proclaimed a general 
challenge. The invitation was not tempting, be- 
cause the enormous size of his spear, which was 
fourteen feet long, and one-and-twenty inches 
round, intimated no common strength in the arm 
by which it was wielded. Accordingly, the first 
knight who ventured to encounter it was instantly 
overset, together with his horse; a second was 
borne down with such violence, that horse and man 
were killed by the fall ; and a third was punished 
for his temerity by a dislocated shoulder and va- 
rious other bruises. No other champion thought 
fit to accept the defiance 3 and the black knight. 


having wanted for Bome time to no purpose, set 
spurs to his horse^ plunged into tlie forest, and dis- 
appeared. He now mounted a bay horse ; as« 
sumed a suit of armour painted red ; and a hehnet, 
tiie crest of which was a red hound with a long 
tail which reached to the earth 3 an emblem in- 
tended to convey his indignation against the heathen 
hounds who defiled the Holy Land, and his de- 
termination to attempt their destruction. Having 
sufficiently signalized himself in this new disguise, 
be rode into the ranks for the purpose of selecting 
a more formidable ^verBary ; and, delivering his 
^>ear to his squire^ took his mace, and assaulted 
Sir Thooun de Multon, a knight whose prowess 
was deservedly held in the highest estimation. Sir 
Thomas, apparently not at all disordered by a blow 
which would have felled a common adversary, 
calmly advised him to go and amuse himself else- 
where ; but Richard, having aimed at him a second 
and more violent stroke, by which his helmet was 
nearly crushed, he returned it with such vigour 
that the king lost his stirrups, and, recovering 
himself with some difficulty, rode off with all 
speed into the forest. Here, after refreshing himself 
'With a large draught of water, he assumed his third 
disguise, which was a suit of white armour, with 
a red cross painted on his right shoulder. His Crest 

I8d RICHARD cceua I>E 1101f« 

yvm a white dove» an emblem of the holy gbost„ 
and he was mounted on a snow-white charger. 
Not finding any knight disposed to just with him, 
he rode round the ring in search of a worthy an« 
tagonist ; and> espying Sir Fulk Doyley, instantly 
attacked him with all his might. But S'H Fulk 
was no less phlegmatic than Sir Thomas. The 
stroke of Richard's rnace^ though it struck fire 
firom his helmet^ seemed to make no impression 
en the head contained in it^ and the stout knight 
Contented himself with remonstrating against a re- 
petition of the attack. But a second blow, stilk 
more vigorous than the former, having* awakened 
him from his lethai*gy, he exerted all his. strei^gth^ 
and struck the king with such violence that he lost: 
not only his stirrups but the saddle also, and, bein^ 
unable to guide his horse, was borne away by him, 
almost senseless^ to the palace. 

The tournament being concluded, he sununooed- 
the two knights whose powers he had iso feelingly 
witnessed^ and interrogated them respecting the 
merits of the several combatants. Both agreed in 
assigning the honour of the day to three unknown 
knights in black, red, and white armour, though 
each complained of his respective adversary for hi* 
unprovoked attack, and for his subsequent retreat^ 
which deprived them of the victory they had hopedr 


<^ acquire. Sir Fulk, unable to reconcile the 
'trength and apparent bravery of the white knight 
s^ith such strange conduct^ fimily believed him to 
>e some preternatural personage : 

^' Ywis *, Sire King," quoth Sir Fouk, 
" 1 wene that knight V7as a pouk f ." 

fiichard^ .with a smile, explained to them the 
apparent mystery. He informed them that it was 
his wish to visit the Holy Land in the habit of a pil- 
grim^ for the double purpose of satisfying his devo- 
ti(m, and of reconnoitring the military positions in 
that country 3 and that, having selected them as the 
hitended companions of his expedition, he had pre- 
viously wished to ascertain, by his own experience, 
whether they were fit for such an arduous enter- 
prise. He then proposed that they should all 
three take the oath of secrecy and of inviolable 
attachment to each other; and the two knights 
having joyfully entered into his views, and contrac- 
ted the sacred engagement by which tliey all be- 
came Irothers in arms, they embraced each other, 
and parted, after a short repast, for the purpose of 
taking th? necessary preparations for the journey. 

* certainly. f a puck* a fuxy* 


At the end of twenty dsLjs they set ' sail^ 

With pike, and with sclavyn. 
As palmers wear in Piynim,— 

and landed in Flanders ; from whence they 
ceeded by land till they arrived at Braundys, whei 
they again took shipping for Cyprus. 

At Famagos they came to land ; 
There they dwelled forty dawes^ 
For to learn land*s laws. 
And sith did them on the sea. 
Toward Acres, that cit^« 
And so forth, to Massedoyne, 
And to the cite of Bahyloyne, 
And fro thence to Cesares 
Of Ninivt they were ware. 
And the cit6 of Jerusalem, 
And of the cit6 of Bedlem, 
And of the cite of Soudan Twrry, 
And eke also of Ahedy. 
And to the cdstel Orglyous, 
And to the cit6 Aperrous-, 
To Jifjfc, and to Sqffrane, 
To Tdbaret and Archane. 
Thus they visited the Holy Land — 


On their return they unfortunately determined 
to pass through Germany^ where they met with the 
fallowing sinister adventure. 

A goose * they dight to their dinner 
In a tavern where they were. 

* This strange ttoiy is alluded to hy Petnis d*£bfilo, a 
writer of the twelfth century, in his historical poem *< De 
motibus Siculis, et rebus inter Henricum VL et Tancre- 
dum gestis." It is edited in quarto (Basle 1746) by Samuel 
£ngel,from a MS. in the library of Berne, which seems to 
have been presented to the emperor Henry VL in the year 
1 196. The following lines are from page 110 of the 
printed copy : 

Czsaris ut fugeret leges, tuus Ang^ princeps, 
Turpis, ad obsequium turpe, minister erat. 

Quid prodest versare dopes f servire culina T 
Omnia quae fiunt Caesar in orbe videt. 

Engel, the editor of the work, in a note on this passage 
quotes Otto de S.Blasio (a continuator of the Chronicle of 
Otho Fri»gensis published by Urstitius) for the same story. 
Otto says (cap. 38.) that Richard ** in quoddam diver- 
sdrium, apud Viennam civitatem necessiute prandii diver- 
tit, sociis prster paucos a se dimissis. Itaque servili opere 
ne agnoscentur, in coctione puhrientorimi per se dans 
operam, alttle, ligno affixum propria manu sistens assabat, 
annulum egregium digito oblitus.** This ring being ob- 
served by one of the duke of Austria's servants, produce(i 
the ifiscoftty.' 

199 RICHARD OEUR Dfi tlOH. **'^ 

King Richard the fire bet; 

Tliomas to the spit him set ; 

Fouk Doyley tempered the wood; 

Dear abought they that good ! 

When they had drunken well^ a fin, 

A minstralle com therein. 

And said, " Gentlemen, wittily 
'' Will ye have any minstrelsy ?** 

Richard bade that she should go ; 

That turned him to mickle woe ! 

The minstralle took in mind ^, 

And said " Ye are men unkind i 
•* And, if I may, ye shall ^/or-MiTZ^ f 
*' Ye gave me neither meat ne drink. 
" For gentlemen should bede, 
*' To minstrels that abouten yede, 
" Of their meat, wine, and ale : 
*' For /as J rises of minstrale." 

She was English, and well true. 

By speech, and sight, and hide, and hue. 

Having recognised the pretended palmers, she 
hastened to denounce them to the king of Almain, 
who immediately ordered them into his presence, 
and, accosting king Richard, '^ called him tayhtrd, 
and said him shame;*' and finally ordered that the 
pilgrims should be thrown into a dungeon, fi^r ha- 

^ was offended, f repeot. * reputatiMvglorf. 


ving entered his dominioiis ^^tfaout leave and with 
a treasonable intention . It was in vain that Richard 
and hu companions called Heaven to witness the 
purity of their conduct, remonstrated s^inst the 
tyranny which doomed them to punishment, and 
invoked the laws universally prevalent in Christian 
countries for the protection of pilgrims returning 
from the Holy Land : their complaints only pro- 
duced fresh orders for their more strict and severe 

The king of Almain had a son named Ardour, 
much distinguished for his bodily strength, which 
lie never missed an opportunity of displaying. He 
repaired to the prison 3 ordered the English knights 
to be brought forth ; and, accosting Richard, asked 
if he would consent to stand a buffet from his hand, 
cm the condition of being allowed to return it. 
This strange challenge was accepted 3 and the blow 
was so violent that Richard reeled under it, but 
recovered himself; and indignant at having exhibit- 
ed a proof of weakness^ which be attributed to hun- 
ger (for he had been debarred from food since his 
arrival in prison), sternly asked leave to defer his 
vengeance till the morrow. Ardour generously 
consented, and took his leave, after ordering a li- 
beral supply of meat and wine for his hungry anta- 
gonist The EngUih monarch, having dined plen- 

VOL. II. o 

194 Ri^ABp oqsui^ ^ ifl^Kf 

tifally, passed the eveaing in u^uxif^ h^ hami befbm 
the fire, and retired to rest. Ardoiir was ime to 
tiU appointment, and> presenting )ag fyce Iq tb* 
blow» fiercely exclaimed^ 

^* Smite, Richard, with all thy might, 
*' As then art a true knight ! 
" And, if ever I stoop or kald^ 
'* I hope never to bear shield.** 

But unfortunately bis powers of endurance were 
not equal to bis courage; his cbeekrbooe was 
crushed by the blow ; he sunk to the ground, and 
instantly expired. 

When this fatal intelligence was conveyed to 
the king ofAlmain, he swooned with grief ^ and 
on his recovery gave way to such loud and clamo- 
rous lamentation, that the queen was alarmed by 
the outcry, and hastened to his presence, where 
she was immediately apprised of h^ ooislbrtune. 

When the queen it understood. 
For sorrow, certes, she was nigh tuood. 
She gashed herself in the vis^e. 
As a woman that would be rage : 
The face foamed all of blopd ; 
She rent the robe that she in stood i 


Wmqg hor hands that she was born X 
*^ In what manner is my son y-lom ?" 

The king said, " I tell thee; 
^* The knight beie stands^ be tdd it me.** 

The sad story was now circiunstantially repeated ; 
and the king, awakened to fresh transports of fury^ 
gave strict oilers that the pri^oeers should be 
closely fettered^ and debarred ficom all food till the 
day of trials when he hoped that the life of Richard 
would be sacrificed to his vengie^nee. But Provi- 
dence had decreed that his obstinate injustice should 
pontinue to ipvojve him in fresh calamiQr. 

His daughter Margery^ a princess of uncommon 
beanty, liappene4 to resemble ber brother Ardour 
in decision ^uid impetuosity of cba'acter. CuriooB 
to behold the illnstripus prisoner^ she repaired^ with 
thr^ of her maidens, to the dungeon, and ordered 
that tb^ English palmer^ should be brought before 
lier* The jailor obeyed : 

Fectb he feiU Bichard aoon^right. 
fair he grette that lady bright; 
Aod said to her with heart firee, 
'' What is thy will, lady, with ipo^" 
When sb^ saw him with ej^n two, 
H^ love she cast upoQ him thp; 

o 2 


And said, '^Richard ! save God above, 
'' Of all thing most I thee love !" 
^' Alas !** he said in that stound, 
*' With wrong am I brought to ground ! 
" What might my love do to thee } 
*' A poor prisoner, as thoa may see j 
*' This is that other day y-gone, 
*' That meat ne drink ne had 1 none !" 

The lady iiad of him pite. 

Her pity indeed was most extensive. Not satis- 
fied with ordering that the three victims of her 
father's cruelty should be abundantly supplied with 
all necessaries, she enjoined the jailor to bring 
Richard every evening to her chamber in the dis- 
guise of a squire. Tlie complaisant officer faith- 
fully obeyed her instructions, 'and Richard was left 
with the beautiful Margery, to meditate on the sin- 
gularity of his destiny; which, after conducting him 
safely through all the perils of the Holy Land, had 
consigned him to a dungeon for neglecting to offer 
a piece of roasted goose to a minstrel; and had now 
transported him from his dungeon into tlie arms of 
a princess, to whose affections he was unconscious 
of having any claim, except that of killing her bro- 
ther by a great blow on t^ie cheek-bone. 
As* the secret of this amour had only been confi-* 


ded to three maidens and a jailor, Margery felt do 
apprehension of a discovery ^ but a week had scarce- 
ly elapsed when Richard, on leaving the apartment 
of his mistress, was recognised by a knight, who 
immediately conveyed the intelligence to the king. 
The offended monarch now setit in haste for his 
great council. 

Earls, barons, and wise clerks. 
To tell of these woeful werks — 

and explaining to them his reasons for desiring the 
death of Richard^ requested them, if possible, to 
set aside the general law of Europe by which the 
persons cokings were declared inviolable, and to 
order the immediate punishment of the traitor. 
The council took the matter into their serious con- 
sideration, debated during three days, and con- 
cluded by declaring themselves incompetent to pass 
judgment : but one of them complaisantly recom- 
mended to the king a certain judge named Sir 
Eldiys, whose ingenuity in condemning prisoners 
was thought to be unparalleled, and who would 
probably suggest to his majesty the means of ven- 

Sir Eldrys, recollecting that he had seen in the 
royal mens^erie a lion of prodigious size and 


fierceness^ advised that the aniinsl sbcmld be kept 
durii^ some days withbut fbod^ and then mtrodnci^ 
to the prisoner^ whokn he woiUd be Tevy liki^ly to 
devour; so that his mi^eitj^ who could tiot be sus^ 
pectedofasecmt intelligence with the Hod J ^^^^dold 
obtain the gratification ofh\s ji»t revenge, withoafr 
having infriDged the law^ by passing sentence 6li H 
free and independent sovereign, 'lliis equitable pro** 
ject was of course adopted by the king $ and imniedi- 
ate orders were iisued for carrying it into execution. 
Margery^ who had her spies in the council, being 
dp^rised of what had p^sed^ instantly sent for h&t 
lover ; warned him of his dangc^r } pf<^6sed to hStA 
tfiift njeans of escape from h6r father*& t^rritofie^ j 
^ offered to accompsftiy him iti his flight. 

With gold and elilsrdf> abd ^reat tres6t«, 
£b<)ugh to have for evermore. 
Richard ssTid, '* I understand 
That were again the law of land, 
Away to wend withotiten leaVe : 
The king ne will I nought so grieve. 

^' Of the lioii ne give I iioUght 5 

'* Hini to day no^ have I tfaiaught. 

*^ By prime*, on the third day, 

" I g«v6 \h^ his h^rt to ptey." 

# Th^ firit qoarter of thi^ ani^dal ^. 


DK Litm. 199 

K^ ttiefl directed her to veptiW to the praon, 
iHtb forty tiaidliei^iefs of while silk^ oq the 
Is^Fttubg %eftii« tiie ebmbat ; to order her sapper ih 
Irib 1^ 3 to toyite his two fH^nds and the jailtN' to 
dMi ttitertaiomcsnt^ Bud afterWards to ps^ Ihe tanght 
t(tth hil9Q: Old the princess^ without sta^dn^ to 
tlMfak?^ ho#filrttist!bBdact was cotnptttil^ wiih 
^lat Bchipttkms regard for her father's peace of 
iiftirid by yfMtt l^diitfd professed to be^ acioated^ 
punctnally obeyed all his directioDS. 

In the morning, the tender Margery, ever trem- 
bling for her kjver's safety, and always fearless 
for her owa, was witii greaft difficulty persuaded to 
tear herself from the prisoii t btlt hanngat lengtl^ 
returned to her s^artment, RSchatd bound round 
his arm the siiken hancffierdiief^, and, recom- 
mending himseff to God, calmly a^Tsited the arri- 
val of the lidhi 

The amflfttl, attended by twt> keepers, and fol- 
lowed by the jailor^ was then ted in j and, as soon 
as he was loosed, sprang ftyfwards to l^eize his prey. 
Richard, starting aside, evaded the attack, and at 
the same time gave the monger siich a blow on the 
breast with his £st as nteariy fefled him to tlie 
ground. The lion, lashing farmself with his tail, 
and extending his dreadful paws, now uttered a 
mdift hidisdiis lotov and prepsa-ed fat a mote violent 

300 RICHARD CGKUB. J>S hlOfi. 

assault; but the bero^ seizing his opporttmity 
when the monster's jaws were ei^tended, suddenly 
darted on hirn^ drove his arm down the throat, and, 
grasping the heart, forcibly tore it oi^t through the 
mouth together with a part of the entrails. Then, 
after piously returning thanks- to Heaven for his 
miraculous victory, he snatched up the bleeding 
heart, and; without meeting with ,fmy ob6t4ele, 
marched witli his trophy into the -great hall of the 

Tlie king at n:eat sat on des. 
With dukes and e«irls proud in press* 
The saler* on the table stood : 
}lichard pressed out all the blood. 
And wet the heart in the salt ; 
(The king and all his men behalt,) 
Withouten bread the heart he ate. 
The king wondered, and said sheet f ^ 
*' Ywis, as I understand can, 
^* This is a devil, aud no man^ . 
'' That has my strong lion y-slawe, 
^' The heart out of his body dr^we, 
^' And has it eaten with gopd will ! 
^' He may be called, by right skill, 

* salt-ceUar; saMere, Fr. f imroediatdy, quicl^y. . 


jaCHABD C(£UR DB LIOK. '801 

King 7-chrtstened of most, renown. 
Strong Richard Coeur de Lion T* 

The di?-appointment of his hc^s of vengeance 
afflicted the king of Almain even beyond the loss 
of his son and the disgrace of his daughter ; but as 
it was no longer possible to detain a prisoner who 
seemed to enjoy the particular favour of Provideuee, 
be determined to exacl, for his release, a most 
exorbitant ransom. This was no less than the half 
of all the church plate contained in Richard** domi- 
nions : and as he deemed it impossible for any so- 
vereign to levy a tribute of this nature, he. was 
much surprised wheA the hard conditions were ac- 
cepted without hesitation. - Richard only asked for 
9 clerk who should undertake to write a letter to 
his chancellor and tlie two arch-bishops^ and for a 
trusty messenger who should convey it to England. 
His orders were received with the utmost sub- 
mission, and executed with punctuality 5 and the 
king of Almain, after receiving the ransom, being 
summoned to release his prisoners, replied. 


-I give them leave 5 

'^ I ne shall them no more grieve." 
He took his daughter by the hand. 
And bade her swithe devoid his land. 

f02 xicRAio caijft WL ik05r. 

Tbe queen nw trhat shoaM fall p 

Her daughter ihe gan to her diamber calf. 

And said, *' Thou shall dwell with me, 

** mi king Richard send after thee, 

** As a king does after hb queen. 

«• So, I rede that it shall bene.'* 

Mai^gwy, therefore, being unable to withstand fbt 
reasons and authority of her mother, took a Moura- 
fnl leave of Richard, who, we hope, was equally 
ifffected at this separation from his mistress. 

The English monarch and his two compaiSons 
were received with transports of joy, and the first 
six months which followed their arrival presented 
one constant scene of festivity. At the end of thift 
time Richard summoned a parliament, to which 
he invited not only his nobility and clergy, bnt ailso 
deputies from all (he towns and representatives 6£ 
all the freeholds in his dominions, for tlie purpose 
of communicating and recommending to them a 
bull which he had received from pope Urban. He 
stated to them that tiie whole countrj' of Siirry 
(Syria), and all which had l)een gained in former 
crusades, was nOw betrayed to the Saracens by two 
renegades, the earl Joyce, and the marquis of 
Montferrand 3 that Milon, the son and successor 
of earl Baldwin, was expelled j that tbe ChrisUcm 

lklCtIAftl> OCEUR l>ft LlOK> 203 

pilgrims were prevented from visiting the Holy 
Land ; that the p(^ had tliefetbre recommended a 
general crusade against the infidels ; that the king 
of France and the emperor of Germany, with all 
their vassals, had already obeyed the summons ; and 
that he was resolved to fo!k)W their example, and 
hoped that hi^ piety would be seconded by that of 
jhis iaithful subjects. 

Richard^s exliortation was completely successful ; 
the assembly was unanimous in promising their 
assistance 3 and he was soon enabled to equip a 
formidable na\y of two hundred large ships, laden 
.^ith troops, stores, and military engines. Amongst 
the instruments of offence little known to modem 
warfare were bee-hives, which Were so numerous 
as to occupy no less than thirteen vessels. The 
fleet being assembled, the king gave his instructions 
to master Alain Trenchemer, the admiral, that he 
should protect, to the utmost of his power, the 
persons and property of all Christians; that he 
should give no quarter to the Saracens 3 and that he 
should proceed with all possible dispatch to Mar- 
seilles^ where bd would wait the airival of the land- 

" For I, and ttiy knights of main, 
'» Will hastily >veiid through Almain, 


•' To speak wiih Modard the king 5 
•' To wete why, and for what thing, 
*' I'hat he me in ])rison held. 
" But he my treasure again yield, 
" That he of me took with falsehede^ 
" I shall quiten him his meed !" 

As the various objects which he had in view coul(J 
act but occasion some delay, Richard dispatched 
in the first instance, Baldwin, archbishop of Can- 
terbury, wiih a pari of his army, with orders to 
take the route of Brindisi and Constantinople ; and 
to join, if possible, the Christian powers in Pales- 
tine, He then provided the necessary measures for 
securing the tranquillity of his dominions during 
his absence j appointed the chancellor archbishop 
of York his immediate representative -, caused the 
officers of justice to take the oatlis of allegianre to 
that prelate ; and having received the sacrament^ 
and requested the prayers of his subjects for the 
success of the expedition, passed with 120,000 
men into Flanders. 

This vast army was formed Tnto three division*, 
one of which was commanded by Sir Fulk Doyle)', 
anotlier by Sir Thomas de Moulton j and the third 
by Richard in person. The strictest orders were 
issued that all thp articles wanted by the army 


iihould' be fairly purchased ^ and, for the better 
prevention of plunder and the greater ease of the 
countries through which they passed, the three di- 
visions were directed to march at the distance of 
ten miles asunder, the king taking charge of the 
centre. In this order he arrived at Cologne, a city- 
belonging to his enemy, the inhabitants of which 
had been enjoined by their sovereign not to furnish 
at any price a single article of food to tlie invaders- 
Richard, unwilling to use violence, determined 
that his troops should be fed with such provisions 
ss could be supplied from his own magazines- 


Now, steward, I warae thee. 

Buy us vessel * great plente. 

Dishes, cuppes, and saucers. 

Bowls, trays, and platters. 

Vats, tuns, and cos tret f ; 
*^ Maketh our meat withouten let, 
- *' Whether ye will seeth or bredeX. 
** And the poor men all, so God you spede, 
** That ye find in the town, 
'' That they come at my summoiin/* 

He also invited tlie mayor to dinner j and, in- 
quiring after the king, was informed that he wa« 
then at a place called Gumery, togctlier witli his 

* vaisselU, Fr. all the appurtenances of the table. 
f the tame u coftrell I a drinking-v£S9el. % boil or roai^t. 

Q06 ftlCUARP CX£Ult l>B MQIT. 


qiieen and the fair Margery^ from whom somt. 
tidings might be soon expected. 

Then, as it was law of landj 

A messenger there com rid^nd 

Upon a steed white so milk ; 

His trappings were of tuely* silk, . 

With five hundred bells ringand. 

Well fair of sight I understand. 

Down off his steed he *light. 

And grette king Richard fair> I plight. 
'^ The king*s daughter^ that is so free^ 
'^ She greets thee well by me j 
'^ With an hundred knights, and mo, 
*' She comes, ere you tp bed go." 

Richard, full of confidence in the fair Margery's 
punctuality, rewarded the messenger for his good 
news with the present of a cloth of gold, and was 
soon gratified by the arrival of his mistress. In 
tlie morning, the lovers again paited, and the army 
proceeded on its march to a city called Marhuretle, 
where they fpund a renewal of their difficulties 
with respect to provisions. 

His marshal s^nthe com him to ; 
•^ Sire," he said, " how shall we do ? 

* perhaps a corruption of toUe^ Fr. a doth of vXk. 


"Svn^kJawaHe*^ as we bouglit yeUerdsy 

For n9<atelf get I ne may ! 

Richard answered witli heart free, 
"** Of fhiit here i» great plenty. 
*" Figges, raisins infrayelX, 
** And nots, may sen'en us full well, 
•* And wai, some deal, cast thereto; 
'* Tallow and grease mengc\ also 5 
"•* And thus ye may our meat make, 
*' Sith ye may none other take." 

King Mfldard, who was well acquainted with 
Richanfs inviolable attachment to his word, and 
his respect for tlie laws and customs of foreign 
countries, but was totally ignorant of his resources 
in the art of cookeiy, had hoped that the precau- 
tions he had taken in stopping the supply of the 
markets would infallibly arrest the progress of the 
English army, and had neglected to adopt any 
further measures for his safety. He therefore learnt 
with astonishment and dismay that his enemy was 
arrived at Carpentras, and had taken his Icxlging 
at the very inn which, a few years before, liad ex- 
hibited the fat^l adventure of the iQasted goose. 
No resource now remained but to implore the me- 
diation of his daughter; and the good-natured 

♦ fuel, I. c provisions* f money. XJrmau, Fr. the baskets 
in which figi suid raiiiiit are packed. L9 Coipibe. § mix. 


Margery readily undertook to procure the for^ve- 
ness of Richard, in return for her fathers absolute 
and unconditional submission. The conqueror re- 
quired nothing more tlian the restoration of the 
ransom so unjustly extorted from him j and these 
terms being thankfully accepted, the two monarchs 
exchanged the kiss of peace, and their reconcilia- 
tion vras followed, as usual, by a magnificent en- 

The enjoyment of perfect security after the hor- 
rible fright which he had lately experienced, aided 
perhap& by the effext of a plentiful dinner, pro- 
duced in Modard such a paroxysm of valour, that, 
on Richard's requesting the loan of a hundred 
knights to join the crusade, he proposed to take 
the cross in person, and to contribute his own . 
heroism to the success of the expedition : and his 
guest having declined to accept an offer attended- 
with so much risk to his sacred person, he insisted 
on proving his generosity, not only by the magnifi- 
cent equipment of a hundred knights, but by a- 
further present of inestimable value : 

Another thing I shall thee give. 

That may thee help while that tliou live, 

l\vo riche rinses of ffold : 

The stones therein be full bold. 

Hence, to the land of Ind, 

Better than they shalt tliou none find. 


For> whoso bath that one stone. 
Water ne shall him drench none. 
That other stone whoso that bear. 
Fire ne shall him never dere*. 

The rings, of course, were thankfully accepted 5 
and Eichard, afler taking an atfectionate leave of 
Modard and of the tender Margery, departed witli 
lus army to Marseilles. 

Here he found his fleet in readiness -, and, embark- 
ing with a fair wind, arrived, after a short voyage, 
at Messina, where he disembarked his troops, and 
found the king of France encamped with his forces. 
The two monarchs embraced with mutual ex- 
pressions of regard, and even contracted the en- 
gagement of brotherhood in arms 5 but Philip, 
already jealous of a competitor by whom he was 
far surpassed in military glory, meditated treachery. 
He wrote to Tancred, then king of -Apulia, to in- 
sinuate that Richard, under pretence of joining 
the crusade, was contriving an attack upon his do- 
minions ; and though Tancred, having communi- 
cated this letter to his son Roger, was persuaded 
by him to have an interview with Richard, in 
which his suspicions were finally removed, the 
fiery temper of the English monarch, who was 

f hurt. 
VOL. XI. f 


highly indignant at such an unjust charge, ww 
scarcely restrained from producing the rupture 
which it had been Philip's object to insure. At 
length the French king's treachery being made 
manifest, Tancred and Richard parted with mutual 
expressions of esteem. 

The English army was encamped without the 
walls of Messina. The French took up their quar- 
ters in the town, and, artfully awakening the sus- 
picion of the inhabitants (whom the author calls 
Griffons, i. e.Greeks)^ at length incited them, by the 
promise of protection, to frequent acts of hostility 
against the English. Richard, after complaining 
to Philip, who gave him no other answer than that 
he was at liberty to seek such redress as he thought 
fit, determined on revenge. While he was eating 
his Christmas dinner, he received information that 
the wicked Griffons had renewed their insults ; and 
kicking down the table with his foot, a practice by 
which he usually expressed his displeasure, gave 
orders for an immediate attack on the town, and 
put himself at the head of his troops. A short but 
severe conflict ensued, in which the earl of Salis- 
bury acquired the distinguished title of Longuc" 
espee. But though the inhabitants were driven back, 
tlie town was too strong to be taken by such a sum- 
mar}' process. Richard, determined to punish the 
Giiffons, summoned all his officers, ordered his 


fleet to co-operate with the land forces, and di- 
rected his most formidable engines of war to be di- 
rected against the walls 

" I have a castel^ I understond, 

*' Is made of timber of Englond, 

*' With six stages full of tourelles, 

*' Well flourished with cornelles ; 

" Therein I and many a knight 

*' Against the French shall take the fight , 

*' That castel shall have a sorry nom ; 

'* It shall be higbt the Mate-Gmiffon." 

Thb assault was irresistible : under a general dis- 
charge of arrows and guarelles, one of the gates 
was forced by Richard in person ; the town was for 
a short time given up to pillage -, and its total de- 
struction was only averted by the humblest sub- 
missions on tlie part of Philip^ and by the inter- 
cession of an archbishop. The author however in- 
forms us that two French justices, called Margaryte 
and Sir Hugh Impetyte, took an opportunity, 
during the parley, of reviling Richard, whom they 
called a taylard ; and that the choleric monarch 
instantly clove the skull of the first, and nearly 
killed the second 3 after which he calmly returned 
to his camp. 

p 2 


Philip left Megsina in tlie month of March^ and 
Richard prepared to follow him to Acnes at the end 
of Lent : but, four of his ships^ principally loaded 
with treasure, were wrecked on the coast of Cy- 
prus ', and the king arriving three days after- 
wards was informed that the emperor of the island 
had unjustly seized all the treasure, and conmiitted 
the crews of his ships to prison. On this intelli- 
gence he sent three of his barons with a most 
haughty message, to demand the instant restitution 
of men and money, and to denounce the most sig-r 
nal vengeance if the compliance with his demands 
should be delayed for a moment. The emperor, 
scarcely less choleric than Richard himself, began 
his reply by throwing a knife at Sir Robert Tam- 
ham, which he with some difficulty avoided, and 
concluded it by ordering them to carry to '* their 
tayled king'* his refusal and defiance. 

The emperor's steward, who v/as present at the 
audience, was of opinion that this mode of treating 
ambassadors was highly indecorous ; and, tlK)ugh 
probably well acquainted with the violence of his 
master's temper, very unguardedly ventured to ex- 
press his disapprobatiQn. The monarch, forcing a 
smile, while his eyes sparkled with rage, made a 
signal to his steward that he wished to communii" 
cate something to him in secret 3 and, while the un- 


suspecting minister waited on his knees the ex- 
pected revelation, drew suddenly a knife from its 
sheath and cut off his nose-^. 

The steward his nose hent 3 
(Iwys^ his visage was yshent !) 
Quickly out of the castel ran ; 
Leave he took of no man 3 

and having overtaken the ambassadors, he begged 
that they would represent his case to the king, and 
induce him to come on shore that very night 5 pro- 
mising to deliver into their hands the keys of all 
the principal forts in the island ; to aid their enter- 
prise with a body of 100 knights ; and to bring to 
Richard the young and beautiful daughter of the 
uncourteous emperor. 

Richard was playing at chess with the earl of 
Richmond in his galley, when he received all this 

* Roger de Hoveden almost confirms this anecdotes- 
He says, that while the emperor was sitting at dinner to- 
gether with his barons, one of them advised him, in the 
name of all, to make peace with Richard. <* Iratus vero 
tmperator propter hunc sermonem, percussit eum cwn 
caltello quem tcnebat, et amputavit nasum ejus qui consilium 
illud dederat. Post prandium, ille qui percussus fuerat, 
abSit ad regem Anglix et adhxsit illi.** Script, post Bedam, 
p. 691. 


good news. Without loss of time^ he gave orden 
for the disembarkation ; put on his armour ^ took 
in his hands the formidable battle-ax which he hid 
caused to be made for the destruction of the Sara- 
cens j took the town of L)rmasour by assault j broke 
down with his own hand the doors of the prison 
where his men were confined ; and made himself 
ample amends^ by the pillage of the citizens^ for 
the loss of his treasure. 

This success was so sudden, that the emperor, 
who was at some distance from the town, had only 
time to collect the few troops which were within 
reach, and to encamp them for the night, after 
sending in all directions for succours, with which 
he hoped to face the enemy on the following day. 
In the mean while tlie punctual steward repaired 
to Richard with the keys, the hundred knights, 
and the young lady 3 at the same time promising 
to conduct the English army by an unsuspected 
road into the midst of the emperor's qamp 5 and 
the king, after suitable acknowledgements for hia 
various services, 

— swore by God, our savioCir, 
His nose should be bought well sour. 

As the success of his enterprise depended solelj 
on dispatch, he selected from his army one thousand 


well*ixiouated knights, put himself at their head, and, 
marching rapidly by moonlight under the guidance 
4jf the steward, arrived before day-break so near 
the enemy as to discover the position of the em- 
>peror*s tent, which was very conspicuous from the 
rich silks of which it was formed, as well as from 
its being surmounted by a heron of burnished gold. 
The invaders being now discovered, and the alarm 
^pidly spreading thiough the camp, they rushed 
forward towards this tent -, overset all who at- 
tempted tp oppose them ; mode a slaughter of twenty 
thousand vile Gri^^ns 3 but arrived too late to seize 
the emperor, who had made his escape on the iirst 
alann^ But the boojty taken in the field was iumiense ; 
the in^perial pavilion, which was immediately em- 
barked and carried to Acres as a trophy, was itself 
a treasure ', the plate alone was a full indenmifica- 
tion for all that the English had lost -, besides which, 
Richard became master of two beautifid steeds 
which he considered as iQvalu^ble, the celebrated 
Favel and Lyar d 

In the world was not their peer ^ 
Dromedary, norDestrere, 
Steed Rabyte, ne Camayl 
That ran so swift sans fail. 
For a thousand pounds of gold 
Should not that one be sold. 


The emperor now fotind^ on reviewing the 
events of the last twenty-four hours^ that by cat- 
ting off his steward's nose he had lost his dao^ 
ter> his capital^ his army, and his treasure 9 and 
very wisely concluded that he could only hope to 
save what remained of his territory by uncondi- 
tional submission. He therefore sent an embassy 
to the English monarch, offering to become his 
vassal and to do him homage, on the sole condition 
of being lefl in peace and quiet ; and Ridiard, con- 
sidering that the restoration of the steward's face 
was quite hopeless, graciously condescended to ac- 
cept the terms, after the full restitution of the pil- 
lage committed on his ships. Accordingly the etn- 
peror, publicly falling on his knees before thdking, 
embraced his feet, humbly asked for mercy, and 
received assurances of future protection. The re^ 
mainder of the day was dedicated to festivity, and 
the vassal emperor was magnificently entertained 
at the table of his sovereign. But, on his return to 
his palace, it unfortunately occurred to him^ that if 
his former violence liad made him hateful, his late 
meanness and cowardice had rendered ' liim con- 
temptible: he therefore once more changed his 
mind, and, regardless of the oaths which he had 
just taken, sunmioned his barons, and requested 
their assistance to rescue his dominions from the 


indigoitj of being subject to a fordgn tyrant. This 
act of treachery was immediately communicated to 
the <x>nqueror^ by whom the emperor^ afler being 
abandoned by his subjects, was now ordered into 
irons^ and transported on board a galley for the 
purpose of being conveyed as a prisoner to Acres. 

Richard now prepared for his grand expedition, 
and, having confided the government of Cyprus to 
the earl of Leicester, set sail for Syria with a 
fleet of two hundred transports under convoy of 
fifteen well-armed galleys. For the first ten days 
the weather was perfectly favourable 5 but on 
the eleventh they met with a violent storm, during 
which it was difficult to prevent tbe dispersion of 
the armament. At length tlie sky cleared, and 
they discovered in the offing a dromound, or ship 
of burthen of vast size, and laden nearly to the 
Water's edge. Alain Trenchemer was dispatched, 
in a light vessel, to inquire whither she was bound, 
whose property she was, and what was her cargo ? 
and was answered by a latimer (an interpreter) 
that she came from Apulia, was laden with pro- 
visions for the use of the French army, and was 
bound to Acres. But Alain, perceiving only one 
man on deck who answered his questions, insisted 
on seeing the rest of the crew, whom he suspected 
to be Saiacens ; and afler a few evasions on the 


part of the latimer, the whole ship's companj 
suddenly came upon deck^ and answered him by a 
general shout of defiance. Alain hastily returned 
with this report to the king ; who, arming himself 
with all expedition, threw himself into a galley, 
and ordered his rowers to make every possible ex* 
ertion. . 

'* Roweth on fast ! Who that is faint, 
*' In evil water may he be dreynt !** 

They rowed hard, and sung thereto 
'* With hevelow and rumbeloo." 

Richard's impatience being thus seconded by the 
zeal of his men, the galley flew like an arrow 
from a cross-bow 5 and Alain steered the vessel 
with such skill, that, encountering the stem of 
the dromound, it cut off a considerable part of her 
quarter. The king made every effort to board ^ 
but the deck was covered with well-armed Sara* 
cens 5 and others from the " top castles" as- 
saulted the galley with such showers of heavy 
stones, that Richard was in the most imminent 
danger. At length, seven more galleys being de- 
tached to his assistance, and the enemies attacked 
in every direction, he sprang on board of the 
dromound, ^d, setting his back against the mast^ 


clove many of the Saracens to the middle, cut ofF 
the heads of others^ and amputated arms and legs 
in every direction 5 till the unbelievers, who at 
first consisted of 1 60O men, were reduced to 30. 

The king found in the dromound^ sans faiJ, 
Mickle store, and great vitail. 
Many barrels full of fire-gregeys ; 
And many thousand bow Tur&eis ; 
Hooked arrows, and quarelles. 
They found there full many barrels 
Of wheat, and wine great plente -, 
Gold and silver, and ilke daintey. 
Of treasure he had not half the mound 
That in the dromound was yfound. 
For it drowned in the flood. 
Ere half uncharged were that good. 

Af^ this important capture, which greatly con- 
tributed to decide the fate of Acres, the English 
fleet proceeded on their voyage to Syria ; but were 
met off the coast by a spy, who reported that the 
harbour had lately been rendered inaccessible, by 
means of a vast chain of iron which the Saracens 
bad stretched across the entrance. Richard im- 
mediately resolved to begin his career of glory by 
overcoming this unexpected obstacle. Selecting 
the largest sffid strongest galley in the fleet, he 


filled it with his stoutest rowers ; took his station 
on the bows of the vessel, which wad urged 
by the united force of sails and oars ; otder^ 
Trenchemer to direct it against the centre of th^ 
chain; and^ watching the moment of its utmost 
extension^ struck it so violently with his battle-0X 
that it gave way, and yielded a passage to the 
whole fleet, which passed into the harbour amidst 
the acclamations of the sailors. 

The first night of their arrival was passed in re- 
joicings. Wine, piment, and clare, were circu- 
lated in abundance ; trumpets, tabours, and Sara- 
cen horns sounded continually; wild fire was 
thrown up into the sky j Greek fire scattered over 
the sea ; various illuminations were exhibited ; 
and the mangonels and other military engines, 
among which was a very extraordinary wind-mill, 
vrere displayed for the purpose of striking terror 
into the enemy. 

On the following morning Richard received the 
congratulations of the king of France, of the em- 
peror, and of all the Christian princes asseitibli^d 
at the siege 5 after which the archbishop of Pisa 
paid him a private visit in his tent; and related- to 
him very circumstantially all tlije military opera'- 
tions which had taken place during the preceding^ 
teven years, By this it appeared that, the Sanfoens 


being in possession of all the strong posts in the 
country, it had been necessary for the Christians 
in the first instance to fortify their camp j which 
they did with great labour, digging a wide and deep 
ditcli, protected at intervals by barbicans of solid 
masonry : that Saladin, with a vast army, had 
immediately besieged them in this intrenchment : 
that the Christians had made a sally, in which, 
after an obstinate conflict, they appeared to have 
the advantage, till, a number of their knights being 
engaged in the pursuit of a horse magnificently 
caparisoned, the Saracens turned and defeated 
them, with the loss of the emperor of Geimany, 
earl Janin of Playnspagne, earl Ferrers of England, 
and eleven tliousand men : that Saladin, having 
cast tlie dead bodies into the reservoir from which 
the Christians drew their suppjy of water, had oc- 
casioned a pestilence in their camp, which carried 
oiFno less than forty thousand : that twelve hundred 
of their best knights had lost their lives in a naval 
enterprise, intended to surprise a vessel laden with 
wheat and other necessaries for the supply of the 
Saracen army: that fifteen thousand had fallen^ 
through a stratagem of the garrison of Acres, who* 
afiecting to despise the Christians, had established a 
camp at some distance from the town, which thej 
filled with articles of value, and thus decoyed the 

222 richaud cceur de lion* 

Christians to an attack -, but^ returning to the charge 
as soon as the assailants were encumbered with tbe 
booty^ defeated them with great slaughter : that 
after this the Christians had again recovered a 
temporary superiority by the arrival of the earls of 
Champagne and Bretagne with their forces, and 
afterwards by that of Baldwin archbishop of Can- 
terbury, with his nephew Hubert Gauter, together 
with Randolph de Glanville, John theNeal, his bro- 
ther Miles, and other £nglish knights ; but that 
even these succours had barely supplied the va- 
cancy occasioned by the inclemency of the seasons, 
and by a dreadful famine in which sixty thousand 
Christians had perished. 

King Richard wept with his eyen both. 
And thus he said to him for sooth : 

" Sir Bishop, bid thou for us, 

** That might me send sweet Jesvis 

" His foes all to destroy, 

" That they no more us annoy !*' 
King Richard took leave, and lept on steed — 

H2 rode round theintrenchment, and, having care- 
fully surveyed the ground, made choice of an emi- 
nence near St. Thomas's hospital for the position of 
his ^' Mate-Grijffbn,'* This was a wooden tower of 


great magnitude, the framework of which had oc- 
cupied thirteen ships. From its top be was enabled 
to discover all the defences of the garrison 5 and 
having fixed a mangonel in a proper directicHi, he 
ordered his music to sound the signal of assault, 
and caused his bee>hives to be thrown from the 
mangonel among the besieged. At the same time 
he set up his " Robinet/* a more powerfiil species 
of mangonel, which continued to discharge stones 
of enormous size against the works, and instructed 
his miners to direct their mines against '^ Maudit' 
Coloun,'^ a fortification which protected one side of 
the city } while, from the summit of the Mate- 
Griffon, he watched the motions of the besieged, 
and gave a proper direclion to the showers of darts 
which were incessantly discharged by his archers. 
The Saracens were particularly annoyed by the 
bees, which molested them on every side. 

And said, '* King Richard was foil fell 
*' When his flies biten so well !'* 

Tlie confosion was such tliat they knew not on 
which side to turn tlieir attention. Great numbers 
were slaughtered ; much of the outward wall was 
ruined by the miners j and the danger became so 
pressing, that the garrison were employed during 


great part of thie night in making fires in the highest 
parts of the town as signals of distress. 

Saladin, who was encamped at ten miles di- 
stance, immediately marched to their succour. 
His cavalry was formed in four divbions, marshal- 
led under their respective standards. The first was 
red, bearing three griffons, and a bend azure; 
the second green, exhibiting a contest between a 
dragcxi and a lion 5 the third blue, without any 
device 3 the fourth white, with three Saracens* 
heads sable. This last was conunanded by Sir 
Saladin in person, accompanied by his pephew 
Mirayn-Momelyn, The four divbions of knights 
or horsemen amounted to tliree hundred and six 
thousand, and they were attended by sixty thou- 
sand infantry, bearing rushes and hay in bundles, 
ibr the purpose of filling up the ditch of the Chris- 
tian camp. 

Richard was at this time confined to his tent 
by a fever, in consequence of the fatigue to which 
he devoted himself in that dangerous climate -, and 
the want of such a leader was near being fatal 
to the Christians. But Philip, though surprised 
by tlie suddenness of the attack, which menaced 
him on every quarter, conducted the defence \vith 
such ability that the Saracens, after an obstinate 
conflict in which many men were killed on both 


BidA, were ultimately compelled to retire. Some 
of their number^ who by the impetuosity of the 
first assault had penetrated within the intrench- 
ments^ were taken prisoners, and instantly put to 

The best leeches in the camp were unable to 
effect the cure of Richard's ague 5 but the prayers 
of the army were more successful. He became 
convalescent, and the first symptom of his recovery 
was a violent longing for pork. But pork was not 
likely to be plentiful in a country whose inhabi- 
tants had an abhorrence for swineVflesh ; and 

' though his men should be hanged. 
They ne might, in that countrdy. 
For gold, ne silver, ne no money, 
No pork find, take, ne get. 
That king Richard might aught of eat. 
An old knight, with Richard biding. 
When he heard of that tiding. 
That the kingis wants were swyche. 
To the steward he spake privyliche« 

'* Our lord the king sore is sick, I wis, 

" After pork he alonged is 5 

'* Ye may none find to selle : 

*' No man be hardy him so to telle ! 

TOL. II. «t 



'' If he did, he might die. 
'' Now behoves to done as I shill mj, 
'^ That he wete nought of that. 
*^ Takes a Saracen, young and fat; 
" In haste let the thief be slain, 
" Opened, and lus skin ofifflajm ; 
'' And sodden, fuU hastily, 

Widi powder, and with spiceiy. 

And with saffron of good cbloi^. 
*• When the king feek thereof savotir, 
'^ Out of ague if he be went. 

He shall have thereto good tal^t. 

When he has a good taste, 
'' And eaten well a good repast, 
*' And supped of the hrewis * a sup, 
** Slept aftery and swet a drop, 
'' Thorough Godis help, and my counsail^^ 
*' Soon he shall be fresh and bail.*' 

The sooth U) say, at wordes few, 

Sl^in and sodden was the heathen shrew. 

Before the king it was forth brought : 

Quod his men, " Lord, we have pork sought -, 
*' Eales and suppes of the brewis soote f , 
" Thorough grace of God it shsdl be your boot." 

Before king Richard cariFa kniglit. 

He ate faster than he carve might. 

♦ broth. f sweet. 



The king ate the fleshy and ^n«tc* thebones^ 

And drank well after for the nonce. 

And when he had eaten enough^ 

His folk hem turned away, and lough f . 

He lay still, and drew in his arm ; 

His chamberlain him wrapped warm. 

He lay and slept, and swet a stound. 

And became whole and sound. 

King Richard clad him, and arose. 

And walked abouten in the close. 

In the mean time the Christians had continued 
to act on the defensive, and Saladin to harass 
them by daily assaults -, so that Richard heard with 
astonishment and indignation the cries of the 
enemy at no great distance from his tent. He in- 
stantly called for his armour, sprang upon his 
horse, grasped his battle-ax, rushed upon the Sa- 
racens, and killed with his own hands all who 
ventured to oppose him j while his troops, confi- 
dent of victory under his direction, closely followed 
him through the ranks of the enemies, and spread 
slaughter and desolation round them. Saladin, 
astonished at the impetuosity of an attack, which he 
had not foreseen, from a dispirited and Dearly van- 
quished enemy, was at length compelled to sound 
A retreat j and, with the loss of his whole rear- 

♦ gnawed. f laughed. 

a 2 


guards to resume his old position near the town of 
Gage, at ten miles distance from the field of battle. 
The Christians, wearied with slaughter, returned 
to tlieir camp ; and Richard; though fully aware 
of the extent of his success, stationed his guards 
with the same exactness as if the enemy had 
still me^ced his intrenchments. 

When king Richard had rested a whyle, 

A knight his arms gan unlace. 

Him to comfort and solace. 

Him was brought a sop in wine. 
'* The head of that ilke swine, 
" That I of ate ! (the cook he bade) 
*' For feeble I am, and &int, and mad. 
*' Of mine evil now I am fear ; 
'' Serve me therewith at my soupere !** 

Quod the cook, ^' Thstt head I ne have." 

Then siaid the king, *' So God me save, 
*' But I see tlie head of that swine, 
^' For sooth, thou shalt lesen thine !** 

The cook saw none other might be -, 

He fet the head, and let him see. 

He fell on knees, and made a cry, 
*' Lo here "the head ! my lord, mercy i" 

The cook had certainly some reason to fear that 
his master would be struck with horror at the re- 


collection of the dreadfiil banquet to which he 
owed his recoveiy, but his fears were soon dissi- 

The swarte vis * when the king seeth. 
His black beard, and white teeth. 
How his lippes grinned wide, 
** What devil is this ?** the king cried. 
And gan to laugh as he were wode. 
*' What ? is Saracen's flesh thus good ? 
*' That, never erst, I nought wist ! 
'^ By Grodes death, and his up-rbt, 
*' Shall we never die for default, 
*' While we may, in any assault, 
^' Slee Saracens, the flesh may take, 
. '^ And seethen, and rosten, and do hem bake, 
'^ [And] Gnawen her flesh to the bones 1 
*^ Now I have it proved once, 
" For hunger ere I be wo, 
'' I and my folk shall eat mo I** 

On the following day, Richard renewed the as- 
sault on the city 5 and the besieged, having no 
further hope of succour^ humbly demanded a parley. 
A latimer was dispatched to the kings of France 
and England, with instructions to offer on the part 
of Saladin the surrender of Acres, with the whole 

of Syria, as far as the river Jordan, on condition 

* black face. 


that the Christians should pay to the sultan a yearly 
tribute of ten thousand bezants 5 or that they 
should consent, in lieu of this tribute, to invest the 
marquis of Montferrand with the sovereignty of 
the ceded countries. Richard could no longer re- 
press his fiiry. The marquis, he said, was a 
traitor, who had robbed tlie knights hospitalers of 
sixty thousand pounds, the present of his father 
Henry ; that he was a renegade, whose treachery 
had occasioned the loss of Acres ; and he concluded 
by a solemn oath, that he would cause him to be 
drawn to pieces by wild horses, if he should ever 
venture to pollute the Christian camp by his pre- 
sence. Philip attempted to intercede in &vour of 
the marquis, and, throwing down his glove, of- 
fered to become a pledge for his fidelity to the 
Christians -, but his offer was rejected, and he was 
obliged to give way to Richard's impetuosity. The 
latimer then proposed the surrender of the town, 
on the sole condition of safety and immunity to the 
inhabitants; that all the public treasure^ arms, 
and military machines should become the property 
of the victors, together with a fiirther ransom of 
one hundred thousand bezants -, and that the holy 
cross should be immediately restored -, the garrison 
remaining prisoners of war till the full performance 
- of these conditions. Richard having declared him- 


self satisfied, the capitulation seceived the assent 
of the other Christian princes, and they took pos- 
session of the town. The booty shared by the 
victors was enormous -, numbers of Christian cap- 
tives were liberated j and among the rest fifteen 
knights of distinction, whom Richard immediately 
took into his pay, after liberally supplying them 
with arms, clothing, and money, from his share 
of the plunder. 

Though the garrison had ^ithfully performed 
the other articles of their contract, they were un- 
able to restore the cross which was not in their pos- 
session ; and were therefore treated by the Chris- 
tians with great cruelty. Daily reports of their 
sufFeri^gs were carried to Saladin ; and as many of 
them were persons of the highest distinction, that 
monarch, at the solicitation of their friends, dis- 
patched an embassy to king Richard with magnifi- 
cent presents, which he offered for the ransom of 
the captives. The ambassadors were persons the 
most respectable from their age, their rank, and 
their eloquence 5 they delivered their message in 
terms of the utmost humility 5 and, without ar- 
raigning the justice of the conqueror in his severe 
treatment of tlieir countrymen, only solicited a 
period to that severity 5 laying at his feet the trea- 
sures with which they were intrusted, and pledg- 



ing tbemselyes and their ooaster for the payment of 
any further sums which he might demand as the 
price of mercy. 

King Richard spake with wordes mild^ 
'' The gold to take God me shield ! 

Among you partes * every charge. 

I brought^ in shippes and in barge^ 
'* More gold and silver with me, 
" Than has your lord, and swilke three. 
" To his treasure have I no need ! 
*' But, for my love, I you bid, 
" To meat with me that ye dwell ; 
*' And afterward I shall you tell. 
*' Thorough counsel I shall you answer. 

What ZWef ye shall to your lord bear." 


The invitation was gratefully accepted. Richard 
in the mean time gave secret orders to his marshal 
that he should repair to the prison, select a certain 
number of the most distinguished captives, and, 
after carefully noting their names on a roll of parch- 
ment, cause their heads to be instantly struck off: 
that these heads should be delivered to the cook, 
with instructions to clear away the hair, and, after 
boiling them in a caldron, to distribute them 
on several platters, one to each guest, observing 

* divide. f message. 


to fasten on the forehead of each the piece of 
parchment expressing the name and family of the 
victim : 

" An hot head bring me befom, ^ 

^ Asl were well apayed withal!^ 

" Eat thereof fast I shall ; 

" As it were a tender chick, 

*' To see how the others will like." 

This horrible order was punctually executed. 
At noon the guests were summoned to wash by 
the music of the waits ; the king took his seat, at- 
tended by the principal oflficers of his court, at the 
high table, and the rest of the company were mar- 
shalled at a long table below him. On the clodi 
were placed portions of salt at the usual distances, 
but neither bread, wine, nor water. The ambas- 
sadors, rather surprised at this omission, but still 
free from apprehension, awaited in silence the ar- 
rival of the dinner, which was announced by the 
sound of pipes, trumpets and tabours ; and beheld, 
with horror and dismay, the unnatural banquet 
introduced by the steward and his officers. Yet 
their sentiments of disgust and abhorrence, and 
even their fears, were for a time suspended by 
their curiosity. Their eyes were fixed on tiie king, 
who, without the slightest change of countenance. 


swallowed the morsels as fast as they coald be sup^ 
fdied by the kuight who carved them. 

Every man then poked other j 
They said, " This is the devil's brother, 
'* That slays our men, and thus hem eats !^* 

Their attention was then involuntarily fixed on 
the smoking heads before them; they traced in 
the swoln and distorted features the resemblance 
of a firiend or near relation ; and received firom 
the &tal scroll which accompanied each dish the 
sad assurance that this resemblance was not ima- 
ginary. They sat in torpid silence, antici|>ating 
their own fate in that of their countrymen 3 while 
their ferocious entertainer, witli fury in his eyes, 
but with courtesy on his lips, insulted them by 
fi^uent invitations to merriment. At length this 
first course was removed, and its place supplied by 
venison, cranes, and other dainties, accompanied 
by the richest wines. The king then apologized 
to them for what had passed, which he attributed 
to his ignorance of their taste 5 and assured them 
of his religious respect for their character as am- 
bassadors, and of his readiness to grant them ^ safe- 
conduct for their return. This boon was all that 
they now wished to claim 5 and 



King Richard spake to an old man^ 
** Wendes home to your soudan ! 
His melancholy that ye abate j 
And sayes that ye came too late. 
Too slowly was your time y-guessed \ 
Ere ye came^ the flesh was dressed^ 
*' That men shoulden serve with me. 
Thus at noon, and my meynie. 
Say him, it shall him nought avail, 
" Though he for-bar us our vitail, 
" Bread, wine, fish, flesh, salmon, and conger; 
*' Of us none shall die with hunger, 
" While we may wenden to fight, 
*' And slay the Saracens downright, 
** Wash the fie«h and roast the head. 
*' With 00 * Saracen, I may well feed 
** Well a nine or a ten 
*' Of my good Christian men. 
** Kmg Richard shall warrant, 
*' There is no flesh so nourissant 
" Unto an English man, 
" Partridge, plover, heron, ne swan, 
** Cow ne ox, sheep ne swine, 
" As the head of a Sarez)m. 
*' There he is fat, and thereto tender j 
'* And my men be lean and slender. 

• one. 



Wliile any Saracen quick be, 
'* Livand now in this Syrie, 
*' For meat will we nothing care. 
" Abouten fast we shall fare, 
*' And every day we shall eat 
" All so many as we may get. 
To England will we nought gon. 
Till they be eaten every one.** 


The ambassadors returned with tliis ' answer to 
Saladin^ and repeated veiy exactly every circum- 
stance of the dreadful scene which they had so 
lately witnessed ; adding that the heads which 
they had been enabled to examine, belonged to the 
princes of Damascus, Nineveh, Persia, Samaria, 
Egypt, and Africa. Saladin heard the recital with 
indignation ; but his council were struck with 
terror, and besought their sultan to procure if 
possible, by fresh solicitations and more splendid 
oflfers, the restoration of tlie captives who still re- 
mained in the hands of the Christians. A second 
embassy was therefore dispatched to Richard, with 
the offer of a fair partition of the sovereignty in all 
the empire subject to Saladin, on condition of his 
renouncing the Christian faith, and embracing that 
of Mahomet. But Richard disdained- to accept 
a? a favour what he hoped to extort by force j and 


being incensed beyond measure at the condition 
annexed to the ofier, sternly replied^ that if the 
holy cross were not brought to him on the follow- 
ing day, every prisoner taken at Acres should then 
be sacrificed. The ambassador answered> that a 
compliance with this article was impossible, be- 
cause the cross could not be found j and Richard 
gave orders for the immediate execution of sixty 
thousand captives. 

They were led into the place full even. 
There they heard^angels of heaven 5 
They said *' Seigneurs, tuez, tuez ! 
" Spares hem nought, and beheadeth these !" 
King Richard heard the angels' voice. 
And thanked God, and the holy cross. 

The author of the romance considering that mur- 
der, conducted on so grand a scale, at the expense 
of unbelievers, and expressly enjoined by angels^ 
could not fail of communicating great pleasure to 
the reader, has here introduced the following epi- 
sodical description of Spring : 

Merry is, in time of May, 
When fowlis sing in her lay. 
Floweres on apple-trees and perry ; 
Small fowlis sing merry. 


Ladies strew her bowers 
With red roses and lilly flowers. 
Great joy is in frith and lake j 
Beast and bird plays with his make ; 
The damiseles lead dance 5 ( 

Knights play with shield and lance j 
In justs and tournaments they ride ; 
Many a case hem betide ! 
Many cliances^ and strokes hard ! 
So befell to king Richard. 

These '* many chances ** were the result of an 
unfortunate misunderstanding with the king of 
France. Richard^ it seems^ at an entertainment 
which he gave to the Christian princes in honour of 
tlie capture of Acres^ had distributed among the 
heralds, disours, talourers, and trompours, who 
accompanied him, the greater part of the money, 
jewels, horses, and fine robes which had fallen to 
his share j and had bestowed allotments of land 
on his earls and barons ; after which he strongly 
urged to Philip the necessity of following his exam- 
ple. The advice was, perhaps, very good : but 
good advice is an article whose value is not fixed 
by any known rate of exchange 3 and Philip, whose 
parsimony was not at all ostentatious, was offended 
by this public discussion of his character. Richard, 
however, no less prodigal of his instruction than of 


bis monef , continued to give him a yariety of 
lessons for bis guidance during the campaign which 
was about to recommence 3 insisting, above all^ 
that he should never be tempted by any ransom to 
•pare the life of an unbeliever, but should pu^ to 
the sword without hesitation all the Saracens whom 
he should not be able to convert to Christianity. 
The result was, that Philip promised implicit obe* 
dience; but lefl the dinner with a fixed determina- 
tion of acting, on every occasion, in direct opposi- 
tion to the wishes of the king of England. 

Such, indeed, is, in the opinion of our author, 
the general character of Frenchmen. 

The Frenche men be covetous. 
When they sit at a tav^me. 
There they be stout and stem 
Boastful wordes for to crack. 
And of her deeds yelping * make. 
Little worth they are^ and mickle proud« 
Fight they can, with wordes loud. 
And tell, no man is her peer j 
But, when they come to the myster f , 
And see men begin strokes deal. 
Anon they gunne J to turn her heel; 
And gunne to drawen in ber horns. 
As a snail among the thorns. 

• boasting. f work, metier, Fr. J begin. 



Philip*s first expedition was against the city of 
Tahirette, of which he formed the blockade. The 
Saracens immediately offered terms of capitulation^ 
and Philip consented to accept a ransom of one 
bezant per head for the inhabitants and garrison^ on 
condition that they should take the oath of fealty to 
him, and display his banners on the high tower of 
the citadel. His stay in this town was no longer 
than was necessary to receive the stipulated tribute j 
after which he marched to Archanc, and, having 
collected a similar ransom from its inhabitants^ re- 
turned with great military pomp to Acres. 

Richard, having reviewed the remainder of the 
Christian army, found it to consist of 100,000 
cavalry and 10,000 infantry, besides the usual at- 
tendants on a camp. Among the warriors who 
composed it were 

— ^his erne* Henry of Champagne 
And his master Robert of Leycettre, 


Robert de Toumeham, Sir Fulk Doyley, Sir Tho- 
mas Moulton, and Sir Bertram, a valiant baron 
of Brindisi. The king harangued tlie army, ex- 
plaining to them the object and motives of the war, 
and strictly enjoined them not to be satisfied with 
the apparent submission of an insidious enemy, but 

* uncle. 



to put to the sword^ without merc^, all who should 
refuse to embrace Christianity. He divided the 
forces into' three parts^ for the purpose of underta* 
king at the same time the sieges of Sudan Surry, 
Orglyous, and Ehedy, and, having taken to himself 
the direction of the first, intrusted the second to 
Moulton, and the third to Doyley. 

Richard, being arrived before the dty of Sudan, 
made every apparent preparation for a regular siege ^ 
took possession of all the avenues tq the gates j 
brought his battering engines to* bear on the walls; 
and discharged from his cross-bows large flights of 
arrows upon the garrison. But a nearer survey 
soon convinced him that the walls might be safely 
attempted by escalade. He therefore dispatched a 
body of three thousand picked men,^ provided with 
scaling-ladders of an enormous size, to attempt a 
distant and unguarded part of the works, while he, 
by a feigned attack on the principal gate, attracted 
the whole attention of the garrison. The strata- 
gem succeeded. The Christians made their way 
into the town unperceived, pressed forward towards 
the principal gate, overpowered the detached bo- 
dies of the enemy who successively opposed them, 
and let down the draw-bridge over which Richard, 
who had learned the success of his contrivance by 
the confusion observed among the besieged, instantly 

VOt. II. R 


made his way, attended by Sir Robert deTourne- 
ham, Robert of Leycester, and Sir Bertrata. The 
whole army followed, alid put the entire garri- 
son together with the inhabitants to the swoild. 

Sir Thomas de Moulton was indebted, for his 
success agamst Castel Orglyous, to the sagacity 
with which he discovered and circamvented a stra- 
tagem of the enemy. A Christian renegade arri- 
ved in the English camp with the plausible story of 
his having escaped from prison, to which he had 
been confined on account of his h\th, and with an 
offer of introducing the assailants, by a secure and 
unsuspected avenue, into the town. Sir Thomas, 
suspecting his treachery, gave instant orders that 
his ears should be slit, and that he should be hanged 
up by the heels in sight of the enemy j when the 
renegade, falling on his knees, confessed his inten« 
tion, and explained the project contrived for the 
destruction of the Christians. It seems tliat under 
the draw-bridge of the- town was a pit of great 
depths and a trap-door in the bridge itself was so 
contrived as to open with the weight of a man, and 
to close again by a spring, after having precipitated 
the assailants into the abyss. The renegade added 
that the Saracens were much afraid of the English 
military engines, the dreadful effect of which had 
been fully proved at the siege of Acres : he there* 


fore recommended that Sir Thomas should order 
some great stones to be discharged against the prin- 
cipal buildings^ and pledged himself^ if he might be 
permitted to re-enter the town^ he would procure 
its inmiediate surrender. Lastly^ he humbly peti- 
tioned that, if the English should become, through 
bis mesfns, masters of the town. Sir Thomas would 
be pleased to grant him a loon -, which the general 
graciously promised. The renegade was now dis- 
missed } the discharge of the numgonels was ordered ; 
and the success of these measures was soon evinced 
by the arrival of deputies firom the town with offers 
of unconditional surrender. Sir Thomas insisted 
that the treacherous pit should be immediately filled, 
and the draw-bridge removed; and his orders being 
readily obeyed, he took possession of the citadel. 
The renegade now came forward to claim his loon -, 
which extended no further than to a request of 
mere subsistence during the remainder of his life, 
which he proposed to spend in acts of penance and 
contrition. He then received absolution from a 
t^est; and Sir lliomas, much edified by his 
piety, from that moment retained him near his 

In the mean time the Saracens, being well aware 
that they should speedily be compelled to re- 
ciounce their feligion^ had laid a plot to murder Sir 

R 2 


Hiomas and all his officers during the ni^^t j and 
the English having indulged too freely in the use 

-of bread and wine. 

Piraent, clarry, good and fine. 
Of cranes^ and swans, and veniscm. 
Partridges, plovers, and her5n. 
Of larks and small volatile,-^ 

were on the point of being sacrificed to the trea- 
chery of the infidels. But the new convert, sus- 
peeling the design of his former associates, fi^rtu* 
nately detected the plot at the moment of its inten- 
ded execution, and carried :the information to Six 
Thomas, who revenged the attempt by the indis- 
criminate slaughter of all the inhabitants. 

The siege of Ebedy, which had been 
Sir Fulk Doyley, presented far greater difficulties, 
the garrison being at least equal in number to the 
attacking army. The English mangonds, however, 
were so well served^ that the principal towers were 
nearly ruined^ and the breach appearing prac- 
ticable. Sir Fulk ordered his army to the assaidt. 
But it was now discovered that the depth of the 
ditch, and the height of the walls, stiUpreseoied 
an insuperable obstacle 5 the assailants were slaugh<- 
tered In g;reat numbers^ and it bopame necessary 


to Bound a retreat. Sir Fulk then collected a num- 
ber of fascines, with which, and rubbish, the ditch 
was partly filled; the military engines were broi^t 
nearly to the feet of the wall ; stones, arrows, and 
wild fire were discharged into the town -, and the 
besi^ed were so effectually harassed, that they at 
length resolved to attempt their deliverance by a 
battle in the open field, rather than encounter the 
risk of being buried under the ruins of their city. 
They therefi»e sallied out in such numbers as to 
astonish the English commander — 

There they rode, all the eartli 
Under their horse* feet it quoke : • 
Sir Fulk beheld, and gan to look. 

fiis little army looked also with much attention, 
and scHBe alarm, at the military pomp of sixty 
aniiralsj and a far-stretched body of brilliant ca- 
valiy, whose numbers, when computed by their 
fear, amounted to at least 80,000, But Sir Fujik^ 
having represented to them that victcHy is in the 
hands <^ Heaven, fell on his knees, and after a short 
prayer, i^. which he was joined by the troops, 
seizing tl^e moment of their enthusiasm, led tb^m 
0^ to jbattle. The Samcens, whoise general Sir 
kfifyfip W9a killed by Sir P^dk, ymf^ .^t l^p^th 


routed) tlieir retreat towards the town was inter- 
cepted 3 and such as escaped the swords of the sol- 
diers were knocked down and killed by the " foot- 
folk and simple knaves** of the English cainp, vho 
displayed great activity in destroying and stripping 
the fugitives. 

No man would the dogs bury 5 
Christian men rested, and n^ade hem merry j 
Of good wine ilk man drank a draughty 
And when that they heart had cau^ht^ 
Cooled hem^ and keeped her state^ 
Anon they broke the town gate. 

Here, of course, the slaughter recommenced. 
Men, women, and children, were indiscriminately 
put to death, and the town given up to pillage 1 
afler which Sir Fulk^ having lefl a garrison in the 
place, marched to join Sir Thomas at Castel Or-^ 
glyous, and proceeded with him to the tojbI army 
at Sudan Surry, from whence tliey returned with 
Hichard to the general rendezvous at Acres. 

It was requisite to spend some time in this city 
for the purpose of curing the wounded, and of re- 
cruiting the strength of the army after their fetigues; 
and the interval was employed in feasts in honour 
of their victories. At one of these entertainmenlf 


Richard proposed^ that each general should relate 
tiie events of the expedition he commanded ; and 
let the example by reciting the slaughter of the 
infidels at Sudan Surry. Sir Thomas and Sir Fulk 
no less successfully vindicated themselves from any 
imputation of remorse or pity for the vanquished 
Saracens ; the latter observing, 

" Gayned * kem no mercy cry : 
^' What should dogges do but die? 
" All the folk hopped head-less 5 
'' In this manner I made peace." 

The king of France next told of his having re- 
duced the towns of Taburette and Archane 3 but . 
when he was forced to confess that both places 
were still inhabited by infidels, he was severely 
rebuked by Richard, who represented to him that 
his newly acquired subjects would soon be seen 
among the foremost of his enemies 5 and that, for 
the gratification of his own avarice, he had, by his 
pretended mercy, endangered the success of the 
pommon cause. A new expedition was now un- 
dertaken against both towns ; and at both Philip 
was received, as Richard had predicted, with con- 
tempt and defiance: but the French army was 
«ow accompanied by that of the English, and of 

* It availed them. 


all the Christian powers 5 and the resistance of tfaie 
Saracen garrisons only led tolheir ntterdestroctioo. 

Philip^ though he partook lai^y of the profit, 
had litde share in die gloiy of this ezpeditioo ; and 
his wounded pride led him to thwart, 00 everjr 
future occasion, the measures of his too iDustrioos 
rival. This disunion of the chiefs was soon ma- 
nifested by its consequences. 

The united army next proceeded towards Cay- 
phas, following the sea-coast, for the purpose of re* 
ceiving the necessary supplies by water. 

Against hem comen her navey. 
Cogger*, and droraounds, many galley. 
Barges, schoutes, trayeresJeU f, 
Tliat were charged witli all weal, 
Willi armour, and with otiier vitail. 
That nothing in the host should fail. 

The weather was intensely hot; their march, 
it should seem, rather disorderly ; and this disorder 
was much increased by an accident. 

Thorough a cart, that was Hubert*s Gautire, 
That was set al in a mire. 

* A vessel of which the name still may be traced -in thf 
term cock^boaL Bailey's Diet. f Schuyts, and many 

long boats resembling trays or trovghs^ 


Seladin, always watchful aod enterpristBg, bad 
bUowed the Christiaas at no great 'distance with a 
iboaen body of cavaliy^ and^ being informed by his 
ipies of their t^nporary confusion, instantly idl like 
l^fning on their rear-guftd, routed it with great 
daughter, and nearly accomplished the defeat of the 
whole army. Richard, with the gallant Longuer 
9sp^e, hasta^ed to. the spot, and, after performing 
[HX)digies of valour, rallied the fiigitives, and en- 
ibled them to make head against the enemy. But 
the heat of the weather, and the clouds of dust 
which a scorching wind droYe full in their £M:es, 
was more destroctive than the sword of the Sarar 
cens. The king, almost exhausted by &tigue, began 
to despair of success. 

On his knees he gan down ^1 ; 
^' Help! (to Jesn he gan call) 
*' For love of thy mother Mary !" 

And, as I find in his story. 

He saw come St. George the knight. 

Upon a steed good and light. 

In arms white as the flour. 

With a cross of red coloilr. 

All that he met in that stound. 

Horse and man, went to ground. 

And die wind gan wax lyth( 


A snccour so miraculous and opportune instantly 
restored the strength and spirits of tlie Christians. 
Richard^ Longue-6pee« Sir Bertram, and Sir Robert 
Toumeham united their efibrts : the Saracens were 
forced to ghre way, and ultimately fled in ccmfusion, 
and with the loss of their best troops, to the moun- 
tains of Nazareth^ and the allied army, resuming 
their march, arrived in safety at Cayphas, where 
they celebrated a solemn thanksgiving in honour 
of their victory. 

On the following day the Chrisdans pursued 
their route to the city of Palestine, where thej 
encamped to wait for their provisions. The fleet 
was most unfortunately delayed by various ac- 
cidents 'y and Saladin took advantage of this intervd 
to dismantle all .the fortified places in the district, 
for the purpose of confining them to the coast> from 
the want of secure magazines. The romance enu- 
merates the castles of Mirabel, Calaphyne, Seracye, 
Arsour, Jaffa, Touroun, Castle* Pilgrim, La Fere, 
St. George de Reyne, together with the w^lls of 
Bethlem and Jerusalem: the only places spared 
being Maiden-castle, and the castle of Aukesland. 
After these measures the sultan dispatched mes- 
sengers to Richard, inviting him to decide the 
campaign by a decisive battle in the plain of 


Anoor ; and the challenge was accepted vnthxlA 

This important conflict is described more or- 
ciunstantially than intelligibJj. The Saracen forces, 
drawn from all parts of Saladin*s extensive empire. 

Of mo lands than any can tell. 
Save he that made heaven and hell» 

was seen to descend in three divisions from the 
mountains, and to overspread a vast extent of 
country. Each division contained 60^000 men : 

Her armour fared al as it brent! 
Three thousand Turks came at the last 
With bow-Turkeys, and arrowblast, 
A thousand tabours, and yet mo. 
All at once they smiten tho. 
All the earth donied* hem under ! 

Bichard, in imitation of Saladin, formed his army 
also in three divisions ; the first, consisting of the 
Knights Templars and Hospitalers, being led by 
Jaques Devayns, and John de Neles 5 the second 
by the duke of Burgundy and the earl of Bou- 
logne; and the third by himself, with Doyley, 

* dinned, sounded. 


Tonnieliam^ and the earls of Salisbury and Le/* 

The battle commenced by a furious charge of 
the Knights Templars ^ but Jaques Devayns^ at- 
tended only by bis two sons^ being carried too far 
by his impetuosity^ was suddenl}^ surrounded^ and 
cut off from the possibility of retreat. The gallant 
veteran^ being ably seconded by his sods^ fought 
witli so much desperation that the bqdies were 
found after the battle surrounded by those of nine- 
and-twenty Saracens^ Richard no sooner learnt 
tlie danger of the Christian chief than he hastened 
to his rescue, broke through the ranks of the 
enemy, and, finding that he had arrived too late, was 
animated with such a desire of vengeance as seemed 
to double his usual prowess. 

Of my tale be not a-wonder*d ! 
The French says lie slew an hundred 
(Whereof is made this English saw) 
Or he rested him any (hrmv *. 
Him followed many an English knight. 
That eagerly holp him for to fight ; 
And laid on, as they were wode. 
Till valleys rannen all of blood. — 
Many a man there slew other ; 
Many a Saracen lost there his brother ; 

* time. 


And many of the Heathen hounds 
With her teedi gnew on the grounds. 
By the blood upon the grass 
Men might see where Richard was !— 
Six thousand and seven score. 
At once, he drove him before. 
Up against an high cJifFj 
They fled as deer that had be drive ; 
. And, for dread of king Richard, 
Off the cliff they flew downward. 
And all tO'hrast *, horse and men. 
That never none com to life of hem. 

The rout now became general. Saladin himself 
fled firom the field in despair, and was pursued by 
Richard; who, finding his horse unequal to the 
ipged of his enemy, seized a bow from a foot 
soldier, and, directing an arrow against the sultan, 
wounded him in the shoulder. Sixty thousand 
Saracens fell in this battle, and their camp was 
pill^ed by the Christians. 

King Richard took the pavillouns. 
Of sendal, and of cyclatoun. 
They were shape of castels; 
Of gold and silver the pencels. 

♦ bunt, perished. 


Man> were the fair gest 

Thereon were written, and wild beast^ 

Tigers, dragons^ lions, leopard : 

All this wan the king llichard< 

Bounden coffers, and great ynails *, 

He had there withouten tales. 

Of treasure they had so mickle tvonef, 

They wist no where their good to done. 

Afler the battle the army rested at Arsour, and 
Richard's first care was to discover the body of the 
heroic Devayns, which he immediately sent off, 
under the care of Sir Gautier, chief of the Hospi* 
talers, to be interred with all due honours at Jeru- 
salem • 

It was now determined to attempt, without 
furtlier delay, the siege ofNinevehj but intelligence 
^eing received tliat the Saracens were assembling 
in great numbers in the plain of Odoh, it became 
necessary to defeat them in the £rst instance. 
Jlichard, dividing the Christians into four parts, 
directed them to take different routes, so as to 
arrive on the field and make their attack on four 
opposite points : he also ordered them to display 
only the Saracen standards which they had captured 
in the field of Arsour. By this stratagem the 
enemy were completely surprised and routed, ex- 

* boxes, packages, Fr. f plenty. 


cepting a small bodv^ which^ not being pressed 
with sufficient vigour by Philip's division, retreated 
in good order to Nineveh. 

The siege of that city was next undertaken; 
and the military engines being brought up to the 
walb> the mangonels began to cast stones, and at 
the same time 

Arrowl'lasl ofvys *, with quarrell. 
With stafif-slings that smite wellj 
With trepeyettes f they slungen also ; 
That wrought hem full mickle wo ! 
And blew wild fire in trumpes of gin 
To mickle sorrow to hem within. 

But these tardy operations were soon suspended 
by a proposal from the garrison, to which king 
Kichard most joyfully consented 5 viz. that the fate 
of the place and of its dependencies should be 
decided by a combat between three Saracen and 
three Christian champions. Sir Archol)ii, Sir 
CoudyrbraSy and Sir Calabre were respectively 
opposed to Richard, Sir Thomas Toumeham, and 
Sir Fulk Doyley, and had the honour of contesting^ 
for a short .time, the victory with the three bravest 
knights m the world. The bsue of the combat, 

* Arbalete a vis, Fr. a cross-bow the string of which was 
drawn by a screw. f A species of catapulta ; 

trebuchetum. See Du Cange in voce. 


however^ proved &tal to the Mahometan cham- 
pions ', the city was surrendered ; and the garrison 
and inhabitants, who had been spectators of the 
battle^ being convinced that the best religion was 
that which conferred military superiority^ cam^ in 
crowds to be baptized^ and to follow the standard 
of the conquerors. 

Saladin^ in the mean time^ had retreated to 
Babylon, where he again assembled a vast array; 
but, being sxirprised by the sudden march of his 
enemies, was unexpectedly besieged by them in 
his capital. The Christians, well aware of the 
advantage of attacking him in a position where his 
cavalry was perfectly useless, lost no time in com- 
pleting the blockade. Richard, always indefa- 
tigable, harassed the besieged by constant night 
attacks, in which the flights of quarrells and ar- 
rows from his engines did great execution; and 
during tlie day employed his mangonels to beat 
down the outworks and approaches to the city. 
In short, the romancer assures us that the destruc- 
tion of Saladin and his whole army would have 
been unavoidable, had not Philip been bribed by 
the vast treasures sent by the besieged, to with- 
draw his forces, under pretence of wanting pro- 
visions, and thus to prevent the continuation of the 


Sa]fl£ii> being .tlius enabled to meet his enemy 
ence mc^ in the fields sent a messenger to oSsr 
battlegAnd at the same time a challenge to king 
Ri^frd, to meet him in single combat in front of 
imKwo armies^ for the purpose of deciding their 
respective pretensions^ and of ascertaining whether 
'* Jesus or Jupiter" was the more powerful divinity. 
The challenge was accompanied by the offer gf 9 
war-horse> far superior in strength and activity to 
Favel of Cyprus or Lyard of Prys, (the favourite 
horses of Richard^) which it was proposed that he 
should ride on the occasion. 

It seems that a necromancer, a '' noble clerk," 
had conjured two ^' strong fiends of the air** into 
the likeness of a mare and her colt -, and that the 
younger devil had received instructions to kneel 
down and suck his dam, as often as she, by neigh- 
ing, should give him a signal for the purpose. 
Such an attitude could not but prove very inconve- 
nient to his rider, who would thus be nearly at the 
mercy of his antagonist 3 and it was hoped that 
Saladin, being mounted on the mare, would obtain 
an easy victory. Richard, ignorant of this conspi- 
racy against his life and honour, readily accepted all 
the conditions 5 the horse was sent on the morning 
of the battle to the Christian camp 3 and the hopes 
of the fiend and of the sult^ seemed on the point 
of being realized. 

yoL. II. s 


But^ during the preceding night, ah angel had 
appeared to the Christian hero; had related the 
machinations of the Saracens 5 had given him full 
instnictions for the management of his diabolical 
steed ; and had presented to him a spear-bead^ 
which no armour, however enchanted, was able to 
resist At the first dawn of day the hostile armies 
began to form in order of battle. That of the Sara- 
cens, occupying an extent of ten miles in front, 
threatened to surround the inferior forces of the 
Christians ; 

As snow ligges on the mountains, • 
Be-helied * were hills and plains. 
With hauberk bright and helmes clear. 
Of trumpes and of tabourer 
To hear the noise it was wonder : ' 
As though the earth above and under 
Should fallen, so fared the sound ! 

Richard, however, perfectly indifferent about the 
numbers of the infidels, pointed them out to his 
troops as a multitude of victims whom Heaven had 
destined to sacrifice 5 and, calling for his arms and 
horse, immediately prepared for battle. 

The fiend-horse being led forth, the king, in con- 
formity to the angers instructions, conjured him, in 
the name of the Trinity, to submit to his guidance 
in the battle 5 and the fiend having shaken his 

♦ covered. Sax, 


head in token of acquiescence^ he ordered that 
the creature's ears should be closely stopped with 
"wax^ and that he should be caparisoned in the 
inannetr prescribed by the messenger of Heaven. 

The reins of his bridle^ the crupper, the ^ths, 
and ihepeyirel *, were of steel chain j the saddle- 
bows were of iron, and supported two hooks, by 
which was fixed a ponderous beam of wood, forty 
^t in- length, lyii^ across the horse's mane, and ui- 
tended to bear dowh, at every evolution of the ani- 
mal, Whatever body of enemies might attempt to 
oppose his progress. From tlie lower part of the 
saddle^bov^s were suspended on one side the for- 
midable battle-ax always so fatal to the Saracens, 
and 5n the other a brazen club. The king, arrayed 
in splints of steel, which were again covered by a 
complete coat of mail 5 his helmet surmounted by 
the dove perching on a cross, the symbol of the 
Holy Ghost ^ his shield, emblazoned with three leo- 
pards^ on his shoulder; and bearing in his hand the 
spear^ on whose point was engraven the holy name 
of God, only waited till the terms of the battle 
between himself and Saladin should be publicly 
read, and assented to by both parties ; and then, 
springing into the saddle, set spurs to his steed, 
and flew with the rapidity of lightning to the en- 

* poUrcdlt Fr. breast-plate. 
8 2 


Saladin, throwing bis shield before him^ rushed 
to the charge with equal impetuosity ; but^ as he 
' trusted principally to his mare, he was unwilling to 
encumber himself with a spear, and only bore ift 
his hand a broad scymitar, with which he proposed 
to cut oflf the head of his prostrate enemy. The 
mare, indeed, exerted herself to the utmost: she 
shook with violence the numberless bells with 
which her bridle and housings were completely 
covered, and neighed with all her might j but the 
colt -fiend, whose ears were closely stopped, was 
insensible to a noise which almost deafened botb 
armies. Far from relaxing, he seemed to increase 
his speed, and met his unfortunate dam with a 
shock which she was not at all prepared to resistr 

Her girtli and bridle instantly burst ; she rolled 
on the plain : at the same time the spear of Richard 
passed tlirough the serpent painted on the sultan*s 
shield, penetrated his armour and part of the shoul" 
der, and threw him, with his heels in the air, to a 
distance on the plain. Richard, without further 
troubling himself about the sultan or his mare^ 
rode at full speed into the midst of the Saracen 
phalanx ; overset with his beam twenty unbelievers 
on each side of his saddle y and, whirling hift 
bftttle-ax, beheaded or clove to the chine every 
enemy within his reach. The earl of Salisbury, 
Doyley, Toumeham, and his other brave knight> 


closely followed, and assisted in dissipating such 
of the enemy as ventured to resist 5 and Phi- 
lip, with his Frenchmen, valiantly assailed the 

The rout soon became general - 

To tell the sooth in all things. 
In the Gest as we find. 
That mo than sixty thousind 
Of empty steeds abouten yode. 
Up the fetlockes in blood. 

In the mean time the citizens of Babylon, seeing 
from their walls the defeat of their coimtrymen, 
opened their gates to the victors; and Saladin, 
when recovered from his fall, seeing that all 
was lost, set spurs to his mare, and escaped into 
a thick wood, where Richard, encumbered by his 
beam, was unable to follow him. 

Of the inhabitants of Babylon the greater num- 
ber consented to be baptized : those who refused 
were, as usual, put to the sword ; and the riches 
found in the town were distributed among the con* 
querors, who, after a*fortnight spent in feasts and 
rejoicing, proceeded on their march towards Jerui- 
^fllem, the reduction of which seemed to promise 
^o considerable difficulty. 


But the jealousy subsisting between the rivd 
monarchs of France and England broke out at this 
time into an open and irreconcileable quarrel* 
Philip haughtily insisted that the city of Jerusalem^ 
by whomsoever it might be taken, should be deli- - 
vered to him as chief of the Christian army. Ri- 
chard tauntingly replied that he must^ in that case, 
undertake the siege with his own army« The dis- 
pute was continued in public, and in t^ms of mutual 
insult ', and Philip ultimately put an end to it by 
withdrawing from the confederacy. The different 
Christian chte& took part in the dissension ; and 
Richard, at the head of a discontented and divided 
army, proceeded to Jafia^ which, considering it as 
the key of Palestine, he fortified with the utmost 
care, and provided with a numerous and select 

From hence the army proceeded to Chaloyn, 
which also it was judged expedient to fortify; 
Here, for the purpose of hastening the works, Ri- 
chard and the most zealous chiefs of the Christians 
took their share of the common labour, by carry- 
ing to the works the supply of stone and mortar 
required by the masons ; while the adherents of 
Philip expressed their regret for his absence by a 
studied indifference to the progress of the woifk, 
^d by a refusal of all co-operation • One of these. 



the diike of Austria^ being one day met by king 
Eicfaard and reproached for his sloth^ tauntmgly 
rq>lied> — 

'' My father n'as mason ne carpenter ; , 

'^ And^ though your walls should all to-shake> 

'^ I shall never help hem to make!*' 

The English monarchy never very enduring, was 
now incensed to the utmost pitch of fiiry. 

The duke with his foot he smot^ 
Against the breast^ God it wot, ^ 
That on a stone he him overthrew : 
It was evil done, by Saint l^lathew ! 

He at the same time ordered him to depart in- 
stantly, with his vassals, from the Christian camp, 
threatening to break his standard and throw it into 
the river ; and while the duke retired, muttering 
projects of vengeance which he afterwards too 
successfully executed, Richard continued to follow 
him with imprecations, exclaiming — 

-with voice full steep. 

*^ Home ! shrew ! coward ! iand sleep ! 
" Come no more, in no wise, 
*^ Never eft in God's service !". 


The duke of Burgundy^ the e^l of Boulogne^ 
and all the ^' folk of France," having withdrawn 
themselves with the duke of Austria, the Christian 
army was much reduced in numbers: but this 
diminution was in some measure compensated by 
greater zeal and unanimity j and Richard was still 
able to persevere with success in his plan of offen- 
sive operations. He surprised, at Castle Albary, a 
consMerable magazine belonging to the Saracens. 
He then assaulted Castle Daroun ; the garrison of 
which, after an obstinate defence, set fire to their 
stores and retreated into the citadel. Richard, 
not wishing to preserve the place, completed the 
conflagration ; so that the enemy, being surrounded 
by flames, were compelled to surrender at dis- 

His next expedition was against Gatrys ; his en- 
try into which was marked by a very singular ad- 
venture. The governor, it seems, had been in his 
youth distinguished for his military prowess, but 
was now incapacitated by agp and infirmity from 
conducting the defence of the place against such an 
adversary as was preparing to attack him. He 
therefore had recourse to the following stratagem, 
founded on a perfect knowledge of Richard*s cha- 
racter : — He ordered the citizens to, erect, in the 
most conspicuous part of the town, a colossal 


statue of marble ; to put a crown on its head ; to 
salute it with all tlie honours usually paid to him- 
self 5 and, if questioned concerning their go- 
vernor, to declare that they had no other than 
Mahoun, Apolyn,'and the statue. At the same 
time he directed that the gates of the town should 
be opened at the first summons of the Christians. 

The event was such as he had, probably, fore- 
seen. Richard, astonished at the immediate sur- 
render of a place where he had expected a long re- 
sistance, immediately inquired after the governor ; 
and, finding that it was a statue, felt an irresistible 
propensity to fight with that statue. 

'' O Saracens 1" said Richard, '^ without fail, 

" Of yoiu* lord I have mervail ! 
If I may, tliorough my Lord so good. 
That bought us all upon the rood, 

" With a shaft break his neck asunder. 
And ye may see that great wonder. 
Will ye leve all upon my Lord ?" 

" Yea !" they saiden at one word. 

He then took his strongest spear, which, as a 
further precaution, "was strengthened with plates 
of iron ; leaped on Favel of Cyprus i took his 
distance ) charged his marble antagonist at full 


speed j struck him in the midst of the &ce^ and beat 
off his head, which crushed two Saracens by its 
fal]. The citizens were all baptized 3 the real go« 
vemor was produced^ and rewarded for the joke 
by the restoration of his office. 

The Christians now returned to Chaloyn^ from 
whence they marched against Castle L^ffiinyde, the 
garrison of which abandoned it on their approach^ 
and then won by assault the post of Gyhelin, 
formerly occupied by the templars and hospitalers^ 
and distinguished by the birth of St. Anne. Here 
Richard was met by messengers from England^ 
who informed him that his brother John^ having 
expelled the chancellor from the goTernment, was 
preparing to seize the crown ; but he disbelieved 
the intelligence, and continued his progress to 
Bethany, where, as usual, he exterminated a 
number of unbelievers. A confirmation of the 
former news having met him at this place^ he b^an 
to think seriously of returning to his dominions : 
being informed, however, by a Saracen captive, 
that a convoy of two thousand camels laden with 
treasure, and escorted by a large body of troops, 
were passing to Saladin's camp, he put himself at 
the head of a few chosen knights, and overtook the 
enemy -before day-break 5 but, disdaining to take 
advantage of a surprise, waited for them in battle 


array ; attacked and dispersed the escort 5 aud car- 
ried off the whole convoy to Bethany. 

Here he was met by the bishop of Chester, and 
the abbot of St. Albans, who had been deputed 
by the barons to state to hitn the rebellion of his 
brother, and the irruption of Philip into Nor- 
mandy. Richard therefore was compelled to pre- 
pare for his departure ; but, being anxious for the 
future success of the Christians, left at Jaffa a 
chosen garrison of fifteen thousand men, com- 
manded by officers on whom he could safely rely, 
together with {provisions sufficient to secure them 
against all danger from a blockade 5 after which he 
repaired to Acre, where he meant to station the re- 
mainder of his army until his return, when he 
hoped to achieve the original object of the enter- 

The news of his intended departure was carried 
to Saladin at a moment when that monarch, in- 
censed at the loss of his treasure, had collected an 
almost innumerable army for the purpose of re- 
venging his loss and crushing the enemy at one 
blow. He might have insured the success of his 
operations by waiting for the absence of his formi- 
dable antagonist : but Jaffa, already well fortified, 
and garrisoned by a little army, might in a short 
tiiw^ be rendered almost impregnable; whereas. 


if it were now recovered, all the future efforts of 
the Christians to obtain possession of Palestine 
would be rendered nugatory. 

Tlie author of tiie romance has exerted all his 
powers in giving importance to this great and final 
copflict. He has ushered in his description by a 
separate prologue^ in which he introduces all the 
heroes of real and fabulous history^ for the sole 
purpose of asserting the superiority of his favourite 
Ritliard. The Saracens, he says, occupied a space 
of twenty miles in length by five in depth ; the 
whole horizon gleamed with the blaze of their 
weapons^ and it appeared 

As it had fro heaven light 

Among the swords that were so bright. 

The Christians in Jaffa, though assailed by- 
such a countless multitude, defended themselves 
with vigour and effect 5 they made a dreadful car- 
nage among the besiegers 5 but "it fared,*' says 
the romance, *' as they out of the ground were 
waxen,'' and the traces of slaughter were instantly 
etfaced by the influx of fresh combatants. The 
garrison, covered witli the blood of their enemies, 
and exhausted by fatigue, were at length compelled 
to retire into tlie citadel, from whence, under 


cover of the nighty they dispatched messengers to 
Richard "with an account of their situation. .The 
king^ conceiving the report of the messengers to 
be much exaggerated, contented himself with send- 
ing a strong detachment to their relief under the 
command of his nephew, Henry of Champagne j 
but the duke had no sooner beheld the numbers of 
the Saracens' army, than he returned with preci- 

And said, " he ne saw never, ne heard 
" In all this wide middel-erd *, 
'^ Halfin-deal f the people of men, 
^•' That Saladin has^ by down and den. 

No tongue, he said, may hem tell ! 

I ween they comen out of hell !*' 

Then answered king Richard, , 

*' Fy \ a delles % ! vile coward ! 
*' Shall I never, by God above, 
*' Trusten unto French-man's love !" 

After making the duke responsible for all the 
inconveniences that might arise in consequence of 
tlie dela/, Richard hastily ordered out his galleys ; 
embarked a chosen body of troops with all possible 

* earth. Sax. f half. % au diable I Fr. 


S70 richaud cceur de lion. 

expedition, steered to Jaffa, and after a short ani 
prosperous navigation cast anchor under the wallt 
of the citadel. 

It was before the high raid-night, 
(The moon and the stars shone bright) 
King Richard into Jaffe was come. 
With his galleys, all and some. 
They looked up to the castel j 
They heard no pipe, no flagel ! 
They drew hem nigh to the land. 
If tliey mightcn understand. 
And they ne could nought espie, 
Ne by no voice of minstralcie 
That quick man in the castle were : 
King Richard then becom full of care. 

" Alas," he said, '' that I was bom ! 

'^ My good barons ben forlorn ! 

*' Slain is Robert of Leycester, 

'' That was mine own courteous maister ! 

*' Ilk limb of him was worth a knight ! 

" And Robert Tourneham, that was so wight, 

'^ And Sir Bertram, and Sir Pipard, 

** In battle that were wise and hard, • 

'' And also mine other barons 

*' The best in all Christendom, 



They ben slain and forlore. 

How may I longer live therefore ! 

Had I been [in] time comen hither^ 

I might ha\'e saved altogether. 
'* Till I be wreken of Saladine, 
*' Certes, my joy shall I tyne */" 

Thus wailed king Richard aye. 

Till it were spring of the day. 

A wait f there come, in a kernel J, 

And piped a mott § in a flagel. 

He ne piped but one sythe ||, 

He made many an heart blithe ! 

He looked down and saw the galley 

Of king Richard^ and his navey : 

Ships and galleys well he knew. 

Then, a merrier note he blew. 

And piped ** Seigneurs, or sus ! or sua ! 
*' King Richard is comen to us !" 

The jojrfiil tidings were soon spread through the 
citadel ; the besieged greeted the return of their 
sovereign with shouts of welcome, which were 
answered from the fleet j and Richard, leaping on 
shore, followed by the crews of the nearest vessels, 
instantly attacked the enemy, who were utterly un- 
prepared for such an assault. 

* lose, f musician. } battlement. § movement. |j time. 




*' We have," he said, " life but one ! 
'^ Sell we it, both flesh and bone^ 
*' For to claim our heritage !" 

The avenues of the town being all unguarded, the 
Saracens were attacked on every side and slaugh- 
tered without opposition. They fled in confusion 
through the gates ; and, when tliese were choked 
by the crowd of fugitives, precipitated themselves 
in numbers from the walls, exclaiming — 

*' Malcan staran nayrc arlru 
" Lor fermoir toir me moruJ" 
This is to say, in English, 
*' The English devil yeomen is, 
** GifFhe ns meet, we shall die^ 
" Flee we fast out of his way.'* 

Richard, as soon as he could collect and marshal 
his troops, and take the necessary measures for tlie 
security of the town, sallied forth in pursuit of the 
enemy, whom he overtook before tliey could re- 
cover from their confusion, and again routed with 
dreadful slaughter; the Christians, says the ro- 
mance, slaying the enemy 

all so swythe 

As grass falleth fro the acythe. 


^e parsait had now lasted till the approadi of 
bight 3 and Richard, weaiy with slaoghter, ordered 
his tents to be pitched, intending to attack in the 
nuHTiii^ the main army of Saladin ; which, being 
weakened by the loss of thirty thousand men, 
wouldl^ he hoped, be easily dispersed. He was 
therefore not a little surprised when, being at sup- 
per with his barons^ he was saluted by two am- 
bassadors from Saladin, who alighting from their 
mules, and marching hand in hand into his tentj 
gravely advised him to shorten his meal^ and to re- 
treat, while it was yet time, within the walls of 
Jaffa. 'They assured him that their king was at hand 
with an artny whose weight the earth was scarcely 
able to support j that, after contemplating its num- 
bers from the walls of his citadel, he might calmly 
decide whether it was more advisable to abide a 
siege, in the hope of future succour, or to desist 
at once from his vain pretensions to a dominion 
which he was unable to acquire, and return, as he 
would still be permitted to do, into his own ter-* 

In anger Richard took up a loaf. 
And in his hands it all to-rofe ; 
And sakl to that Sarazyn, 
•^ God give thee well evil pine ! 



" And Saladine your lord 

" The devil him hang with a cord !" 

and after again imprecating on all the Saracens^ 
generally and individually, the '* cur^e of sweet 
Jesus," declared himself r^dy to enconnter> 
singly, any numbers that Saladkl might be able to 
bring into the field. The ambassadors, unable to 
obtain a more courteous answer, returned to Sa- 
ladin, and Richard retired to sleep. 

In the morning he was awakened by an angel^ 
who told him to rise and marshal his army without 
loss of time ; to exert every effort for the purpose 
of cutting his way back to Jaffa } and, at the con- 
clusion of the battle, to make a truce with Saladin 
and return to England, where his presence was 
indispensably necessary. 

Richard, starting from his bed, instantly called 
for his arms, and, leaping on his favourite horse 
Favel of Cyprus, rode through the ranks of his little 
army, issuing the necessary orders to his officers, 
and encouraging his troops by the promise of divine 
assistance, during a retreat which, without such 
assistance, would have been apparently quite im- 
practicable. The whole plain between the Chris- 
tians and the city, an extent of many miles, was 
occupied and completely covered by the enemy^ 


whose numbers enabled them to employ one army 
in the assault of the citadel^ while another> still 
more fonnidable^ opposed the march of Bichard. 
His little corps, surrounded and harassed on all 
sides^ were perfectly aware of their peril 5 but they 
were veterans, higiily disciplined, inured to the 
climate^ confident in themselves and in their leader, 
and animated at once by despair and enthusiasm : 
while the Saracens, chiefly composed of new levies, 
would have been easily defeated, had not tlie 
fugitive* been constantly driven back on the swords 
of the Christians, by the multitudes rushing on to 
share in a battle of which they had never felt the 
danger. Richard> as usual, was always in the 
thickest part of the press : 

They gunnen on him as thick to fleen, 
. As out of the hive doth the been 5 
And, with his ax, down he swepe 
Of the Saracens^ as bear doth sheep. 


His efforts being constant and unrelated, he 
must have been ultimately crushed and stifled by 
the crowds of assailants j but perceiving a marsh 
and lake on one side of his line of march, he sud- 
denly collected a part of his cavalry, and, making a 
dreadfid charge in that direction, drove a column 

T 2 


of the enemy before him into the water, and thtw 
procured a temporary respite. 

The number of the slain and drowned amounted 
at this time^ says the romance, to at least sixty 
thousand 5 and yet the Saracen army appeared \m^ 
impaired ', and the Christians were summoned to 
new exertions by the danger of Henry of Cham- 
pagne, whor was unhorsed, and on the point of being 
made prisoner. This unfortunate accident occa- 
sioned a long and severe contest, which terminated 
to the advantage of the Christians, who rescued the 
duke ; but Richard, in his zeal to revenge his 
nephew, forgot, for a time, the instructions of the 
angel, and the necessity of directing his whole 
force against the army which still excluded him 
from the gates of Jaffa, and which by this time had 
nearly succeeded in assaulting the citadel. 

He was now intormed by a messenger who had 
with difficulty made his way through the enemy, 
tliat the garrison, exhausted by fatigue, were nearly 
incapable of further resistance,, and that the gatet 
were in flames 5 adding, 

'^ Lord, of thee I have great doubt 5 
For ye rpay nought to the city ride. 
In field what a venture you betide ! 

*' And I you wame, withouten fail^ 

'* Mickle apaired is your batavL 



'* The patriarck ytaken is, 

*' And John the Neal is slain, ywis, 

*' William Arsour, and Sir Gerard, 

'' Bertram Braundys, thy good Lombard ; 

" They are slain and many mo !" 

Richard, at this mournful intelligence, repented 
his imprudence, and, checking the pursuit, instantly 
turned his whole force against the besieging anny. 
But the Saracens, aware that the capture of the 
town would ensure their victory, assailed him with 
unceasing fury, and had even the good fortiuie to 
slay under him his favourite horse, the celebrated 
Favel of Cyprus. The triumph of the infidels now 
appeared to be secure j and the only contest among 
their chiefs was for the honour of killing or taking 
prisoner the formidable Coeur de Lion. Two Sa- 
racen knights, whom the romance calls the sons of 
Saladin, directed their spears against him, haughtily 
ordering him to surrender j but he answered by 
cutting off the head of the first who came within 
bis reach 5 and, though wounded in the arm by 
the second with an envenomed spear, soon brought 
him also to the ground. Five other chieftains, and 
some hundreds of private men, successively fell 
under the ax of Richard j who, though on foot, ap- 
peared to have lost nothing of his superiority, and 


at last opened to himself a passage through the 
enemy, and arrived at the gates of the citadel. 

The fate of the day was now decided. A fresh 
horse, the famous Lyard, was brought to Richard, 
who, immediately sallying out, attended by the 
flower of the chivalry, threw the enemy into irre- 
trievable cottfusion- The pursuit lasted till night j 
the loss of the infidels was computed at two hun- 
dred thousand men ; and the Christians, returning 
wearied with slaughter, passed the night in tlianks- 
giving for this great and almost miraculous vic- 

On the follo>^ing day king Richard dispatched 
Sir Robert Saville, Sir Huberl, Sir William de 
Watteville, Sir Robert Tourneham, Sir Waltier 
GifFard, and Sir John St. John, to the sultan, with 
proposals for a truce during three years, on the 
terms suggested by the angel ; to which however 
he added, on his own part, the offer of deciding 
their pretensions by a duel, in which he, singly, 
should be opposed to five-and-twenty knights se- 
lected from the armies of Saladin. The sultan 
consented to the truce without insisting on the duel, 
and the articles were ratified on the following 

Tho aftenyard, all the three year. 
Christian men, both far and near, 


Yeden the way to Jerusalem, 
To the sepulchre, and to Bethlem, 
To Olivet, and to Naxarel, 
And to Imaus castel. 
And to all other pilgrimage, 
Withouten harm or damage. 
King Richard, doughty of hand. 
Turned homeward to England. 
King Richard reigned here 
No more but ten year. 
Sithen, he was shot, alas ! 
In castel Gaillard there he was. 
Thus ended Richard our king : 
God give us all good ending ! 
And his soul rest and roo *, 
And our souls, when we come thereto ! 
Amen. Explicit. 

• RuhCf repose, German. 


Romances! ttlattnjgf to Cl)arlemagne. 





W E have seen .that all the romantic histories con- 
cerning Arthur and his knights are professedly 
derived from the Brut or chronicle translated by 
C^eofFrey of Monmouth -, and in like manner thie 
trouveurs and minstrels who have composed the 
fabulous story of Charlemagne and his twelve 
peers, as well as the Italians who have imitated 
and improved on their inventions, uniformly appeal, 
to the history written by archbishop Turpin*, the 
contemporary and friend of Charlemagne. This 
absurd chronicle was composed before 1122, with 
the title '^ Joannis Turpini historia de vita Carol! 
M agni et Rolandi," and it may be presumed that 
the MSS. of such a history were formerly very 

* Mr. Ritson informs us that the real name of this arch- 
liishop was Tilpin. 



numerous, though it appears to have principally 
derived its popularity from its French metri(5al 
paraphrases and imitations, some of which were 
probably of almost equal antiquity with the original, 
and are alluded to by the subsequent prose trans- 

The earliest of these, according to Fauchet, was 
written by a certain Jehans, who, at the instance of 
Regnault, comte de Boulogne and de Daumartin 
(then detained as a prisoner by Philippe Auguste), 
turned into French prose a Latin copy of Turpin 
which he found in the archives of St. Penis. A 
copy of this work is still preserved in MS. in Bibl. 
Reg. 4 C xi. 

The next translation was made by Gaguin. It 
is dedicated to Francis I, and was printed at Paris 
in 1527, quarto. 

There is a Latin paraphrase of the original in 
hexameters, many of which rhyme to each other, 
entitled Karolettus, and preserved in Bibl. Reg. 
13 A xviii. 

The original work was first printed in a collec- 
tion entitled " Gerraanicarum rerum quatuor chro- 
nograph i," Frankfort 1566, folio. 

Another pretended French translation was after- 
wards published at Lyons in 1583, octavo, with the 
title of ** La chronique de Tyrpin, archevesque et 


due de Rheiras, et premier pair de France." Tliis, 
however, which Mr. Ritson supposes to be the 
work ascribed by Mr. War ton to Michel le Hames, 
who lived in the time of Philippe Auguste, contains, 
as he tells us, the romance of Renaud de Mon- 
tauban, and not that of Roland. Perhaps it majr 
be a conversion into prose of the metrical romance 
on the same subject, written, as Fauchet informs 
us, by Huon de Villeneuve, about the commence- 
ment of the fourteenth century. 

Be this as it may, there can be no doubt 
that numberless fables concerning Charlemagne 
were grafted on the narrative of tlie supposed Tur- 
pin ; and indeed his translator Gaguin appears to 
be almost ashamed of the imperfect narrative con- 
tained in his original, and is very solicitous to ex* 
cuse himself for suppressing many particulars con- 
cerning his hero, which, though veiy necessary to 
be known, tlie archbishop had not thought fit to 
notice. Thus, after mentioning (cap. 26) Olivier, 
Gondebault roy de Frigie, Ogier roy de Dannemarc, 
Arestaigne roy de Bretaigne, Guarin due de Lor- 
raine, and others, he refers us to " leurs histoires 
plus au long descriptes, lesquelles je laisse pour le 
present a ceux qui lisent les romans, livres, et 
autres escriptures :'* and in his concluding chapter 
he gives us a sketch of some important events, 
which, if he had thought fit, he could have com- 


municated more at large. We might have been 
told, it seems, '^ comme Galafre, amiral de la viUe 
de Tolede, le para et adorna de Thabit militaire, 
du temps qu*ii estoit en son enfance mis en exilj et 
le tint en son palais^ et comment aossi le diet 
' Charlemagne, pour Tamour du dessus diet Galafre, 
tua puis apres et mist ^ mort par bataille le grant Bra- 
cinant, qui estoit un roy tres fier et tres orgueilleux 
des mescr6ans et infidelles, d'iceluy GalafiiB mortels 
ennemis. Vous povez avoir out reciter cette ba- 
taille merveilleuse, ou, vous Tavez veu par escript 
en aulcuns autres livres, et pourtant je m*en tayse. 
Je laisserai semblablement la maniere comment le 
noble Charlemagne conquesta et acquist terres di- 
verses, villes et cites, par sa vaillantise et prouesse; 
et les assubjectist au nom de la Trinite, Pere, Fils, 
et saint Esprit. Et ainsi comment il institua par 
le monde maintes abbayes, &c. &c. Et comment il 
fut faict empereur de Rome, eslu (comme je crois) 
divinement et par la grace de Dieuj et alia en la 
sainteteiTe voir et visiter le saint sepulchre de N. S. 
enmoulte grande devotion de cueur et reverence j et 
comment il apporta avec lui le sainct bois {)recieulx 
de la croix de Jesus Christ, oh il pendit pour notre 
redemption, par lesquelles choses il enrichist 
maintes eglises. Toutes ces choses ai laissees par 
Iriefvetiy et aussi que vous les avez peu voir ailleurs 
et en plusieurs livres, &c.** 


That such absurdities as these should be accepted 
in lieu of authentic history in a credulous age, and 
where better materials could not be had, would 
excite no astonishment ; but it is very surprising 
that for a length of time they should have usurped 
the place of the numerous historical documents 
which record the glory of a Charlemagne, whose 
character, when left to the sober voice of truth, 
is far more amiable and respectable than that 
of his ideal and romantic substitute. In fiict, 
there is good reason to believe that the name 
of Charlemagne was first introduced by mistake 
into a series of fictions, of which the real hero was 
of a si ill earlier date 3 and it is the opinion of Mr. 
Leyden, an author of much research and infor- 
mation, that the origin of these fictions is to 
be sought in Britany. I shall give his sentiments 
in his own words : 

*' That class of romances which relates to Char- 
lemagne and his twelve peers, ought probably to be 
referred to the same source j since they ascribe to 
that French monarch the feats which were per- 
formed by an Armorican chief. The grand source 
firom which the fabulous history of Charlemagne is 
thought to be derived, is the supposititious history 
ascribed to his contemporary Turpin, which, in 
1 122, was declared to be genuine by papal autho- 


rity. The history of this work is extremely ob* 
•cure 3 buty as it contains an account of the pilgri-; 
mage of Charlemagne to Jerusalem, its composidmi ' 
must have been posterior to the Crusades. Th* 
abbe Velley has shown, that the principal events 
which figure in the romantic history of that m«n-* 
nrch have no relation to him whatever, though 
tliey are historically true of the Armorican chieftain, 
Charles Martel. It was this hero> whose ^ther 
was named Pepin, and who had four sons, who 
performed various exploits in the forest of Ardenne 
against the four sons of Aymonj who warred 
against the Saxons ; who conquered the Saracens 
at Poictiers ; it was he who instituted an order of 
knighthood j who deposed the duke of Aqu:taine> 
and who confeiTed the donation of the sacred terri- 
tory on the see of Rome. Is it not therefore more 
probable, that the history and exploits of this hero 
should be celebrated by the minstrels of his native 
country, than that they should be, for the first timci 
narrated by a dull, prosing monk some centuries 
aflcr his death ? Is it not more probable, that 
when tlie fame of Charles Martel had been eclipsed 
by ihe renown of Charlemagne, the monkish abrid* 
ger of the songs of the minstrels should transfer 

the deeds of the one to the other, by an error of 


stupidity, thcUi that he should have deliberately £ai» 


sified history when he had no purpose to serve ? 
The ingenious author, to whom I have already 
referred seems fo have pointed out the source of 
this error *. In the Armoric language meur sig- 
nifies great^ mayne j and marra a mattock^ mariel-, 
so that^ instead of Charlemagne and Charles Mar- 
tel, we have Charlemeur and Charlemarra 3 names 
which, from the similarity of sound, might ea- 
sily be confounded. A similar blundei; has been 
committed by the Norman trouveur, who trans- 
ferred the characteristic epithet of Caradoc, from 
the Welsh or Armorican, to the Romance lan- 

Mr. Leyden afterwards mentions, in confirma- 
tion of his conjecture, the allusion in Turpin*s 
history to a song or poem concerning Oell or Howel 
the Breton earl, '' de hoc canitur in cantilena usque 
adhodiemumdiem^" and it may not perhaps be 
impertinent to add tliat Roland^ the principal actor 
in these romance's, is taken from the immediate 
vicinity of Bretagne. *' The domain of these 
British princes," says D*Anville (Etats de TEurope, 
p. 77), ** was confined, to speak generally, to what is 
properly called Lower Britany, and to the territory 

• Enquirer, No. xix. ap. Monthly Mag. Feb. 1800. 
t Prelim. Dissert, to the Compbynt of Scodand, p. 2C3, 
VOL. rr. u 


formerly occupied by the Veneti and by the Osismii, 
Upper Britany, comprehending the territories of 
the antient Redones and Namnetes^ was a frontier 
country opposed to the lands of the Bretons -, and 
the famous Roland^ nephew of Charlemagne and 
count of Angers, commanded there/' Possibly 
too the terrible Ferragus may be a giant of Celtic 
origin : for Selden has told us * that the war-lsong in 
use amongst the Irish kerns was called Pharroh-, 
and the vulgar Irish, as Mr. Walker informs us, 
suppose the subject of this song to have been For- 
rochor Ferragh, a terrible giant, of whom they teU 
many a marvellous tale f . By the way, it is to be 
lamented that the Irbh antiquaries, many of whom 
seem to be well versed in their early language, 
should neglect to give us a series of their antient 
popular tales, with a simple and literal English 

• Drayton*8 Polyolbion, song 6. 
, f Historical Memoirs of Irish Bards, &c. London 1786* 



1 HIS romance, I believe, was never printed; nei- 
ther is it known to exist in any other than the Au- 
chinleck MS., from which a transcript was sent 
to me by my friend Mr. Scott. Some lines at the 
beginning have been torn out; but it appears to 
be otherwise perfect ; and, though not remarkable 
for poetical merit, is so far curious that it presents 
us with a tolerably faithfril compendium, as far as 
it goes, of the supposed Turpin*s history. 

Tlie poem begins by a singular error in chro- 
nology, which, however, was not perhaps very 
likely to startle the readers to whom it was ad- 

An hundred winters it was, and three, 
Sithen God died upon the tree^ 
That Charles the king 

u 2 


Had all France in his hand^ 
Denmark and England, 

Withouten any lesing 5 
Lorraine and Lombardy^ 
' Gascoyne^ Bayonne^ and Picardie^ 

Was till his biddings 
And emperor he was of Romej 
And lord of all Christendom; - 

Then was he a high lording. 

Haying disposed of so many kingdoms to Char* 
lemagne^ the author had few to spare for the other 
European sovereigns: accordingly^ he mentions 
only two 3 namely^ Constantius emperor of Con- 
stantinople^ and Ibrahim king of Spain. This 
Ibraliim was a strenuous Pagan^ who persecuted 
the Christians without naercy> and banished the 
patriarch of Jerusalem. ITie poor patriarch made 
his complaint to Const antius^ who on his part made 
his complaint to Heaven, and was rewarded for his 
piety by a visit from an angel, who directed him to 
send an account of this outrage to Charles the cou'^ 
queror, assuring him that through the valour of this 
'* doughty knight" the Saracens would be ulti- 
mately discomfited. Constantius lost no time in 
dispatching his ambassadors, and they had the 
good fortune to find Charlemagne at Rome^ where 


having delivered their credentials and kissed his 
hand^ they so efiectuallj wrought on him by their 
eloquence, that he resolved to set out, without loss 
of time, on a visit to Constantinople. The Greek 
emperor, as may be supposed, received his noble 
visitor with every possible demonstration of respect, 
and offered him in profusion the presents usual on 
such occasions, consisting of gold and silver, rich 
cloths, and furs of tame and '^ savage beasts :** but 
the pious Charles refiised to accept any of these va- 
luablepresents, and only requested from his generous 
entertainer the gift of a few relics, on which he set 
a much higher value. Constantius complied, and 
conducted lus guest to the sanctuary where these 
treasures were deposited; on opening which, their 
senses were gratified by a smell of such uncommon 
sweetness and efficacy, that three hundred sick, who 
were then at their devotions near the spot, were 
instantly restored to health. 

Then brought they forth the holy crown. 
And the arm of Saint Simoiln, 

Befom hem alle there : 
And a part of the holy cross. 
That in a chiystal was done in clos*. 

And Goddis clothing : 

* inclosed. 


Our levedy*s* smock that she had on^ 
And the yerd f of Aaron, 

Forth they gan bring ; 
And the spear^ long and smert Xf 
That Longys put to Groddis heart, ' 

He gave Charles the king ^ 
And a nail, long and great. 
That was y-drive thorough God*8 feet, 

Withouten any lesing. 

Charles, having accepted these valuable presents 
with becoming gratitude, prayed to Jesus that the 
authenticity of the relics might be manifested by 
some unequivocal testimony : and at the instant 
there descended from heaven a beam of light so 
brilliant, that the place where tliey stood was judged 
by all present to be extremely like to Paradise. 
Overjoyed at this testimony, he took leave of the 
good Constant! us ; returned to his own domi* 
nions, and went to meditate on his good fortune 
at ^ix in Gascovy, 

Here he seems to have totally forgotten the 
wickedness of Ibrahim, the sufferings of tiie exiled 
patriarch, and the request of Constantius : but 
fortunately he was much addicted to star-gazing j 
and having observed a flight of stars or meteors, 

• JL.ady*s. f rod or waud. J piercing, aliarp. 


which traversing the heavens appeared to settle 
over Spain and Galicia^ his curiosity was excited^ 
and he prayed to Gk)d for an explanation of ihis 
phaenomenon. • His prayer was heard; and St. 
James the apostle appeared to him in a dream, and 
informed him that the miraculous march of stars 
portended the conquest of Spain, which he was 
destined to achieve 3 observing to him, however, 
that for this purpose he would have occasion for a 
large army, which he would therefore do weU to 
assemble. The apostle added, on his own part, 
that his body was buried in Galicia -, that he saw it 
very unwiUingly in the hands of the infidels 3 that 
'he was disposed to be properly gratefiil to those 
who should rescue it from contamination ; and that 
he would promise the crown of martyrdom to such 
of his friends as should fall in so good a cause. 
As the saint was well aware of the shortness of 
Charles's memory, he had the precaution to repeat 
this vision three times 5 in consequence of which 
the pious monarch set about his enterprise in good 
earnest, and entered Spain with an army well cal- 
culated by its numbers to insure the conquest of the 

The opening of the campaign was not brilliant. 
Charles lay six months before the city of Pam- 
pelune^ without being able to reduce it 5 after which 


be very luckily had recoarse to prayers ; and these 
being seconded by Sti James, the whole walls of 
the city were iniraculoasly thrown down^ and the 
army entered without further opposition. Ten 
thousand Saracens^ converted by this palpable in- 
terposition of Providence, consented to receive bap- 
tism : those who persisted in their infidelity were, 
after due exhortation to penitence, conducted to 
the gallows. From this time the progress of 
Charlemagne was almost uninterrupted, and sixty- 
six cities were successively reduced to his obedi- 
ence. All of these the author has taken the pains 
to enumerate, for tlie information of posterity ; but 
as his transcriber has taken equal pains to envelop 
their names in an orthography which is utterly un- 
intelligible, it may he sufficient to state that four 
cities only, namely, those of Lucerne, Ventose, 
Caparra, and Adavie, attempted to make any se* 
rious resistance. This opposition to his will very 
naturally disturbed Chai'lemagne's equanimity, in- 
somuch that he cursed them all together. 

Charles accursed that city , 

And Ventose,^and Caparre, and Adavie, 

For their deadly sin : 
Desert they weren after than. 
That never, sith then, no Christian man 

No durst come tberin. 



For Charles cursed so Lucem^ 
AU so Hte* the town gan bum. 

And shall don evermo 3 
And, of the smut of that town. 
Many taketh therof poisoun. 

And dyeth in mickle wo. 
And, there the other three cities stood, 
Beth waters red of helle flood. 

And fishes therin all hlo-f ; 
And who that will not leve X me. 
In Spain men may the sooth see. 

Who that will thither go. 

We are now told of a miracle, which, excepting 
that miracles are always good things, might just as 
well have been reserved for any other occasion. 
Charles, it seems, planted some vines in the month 
of March, and on the very next day they were co- 
vered with grapes, both black and red, and in such 
abundance that it was difficult to supply baskets 
sufficient to contain them. 

It was an object of considerable anxiety, both to 
Charles and Turpin, to destroy all the mawmettes, 
or idols, which they could find, not only because 
they were much revered by the Saracens, but be- 
cause their materials were in general valuable, and 

* all so soon. f livid. X believe. 


capable of being much better employed in endow- 
ing churches and monasteries. In this therefore, 
** so sayeth the Latin,'* they proceeded with great 

And an image of great poustd* 
Stood on a roche by the sea. 

In the gilden-f londe; 
His name was Salanicodas y 
As a man y-shapen he was 

And held a glaive in bond. 
Mahoun maked him with gin. 
And did many fiends therin. 

As ich understond. 
For to sustain the image 5 
And set him on high stage. 

For no man nold he tvoridl. 
The face of him was turned south-right : 
In her lay § the Saracens found, I plight. 

Of Jubiter and Mahoun, 
That when y-bom were the king. 
That should Spain to Christian bring. 

The image should fall adown : 
Charles did the image fall. 
And wan in Spain the cities all, 

• power. f perhaps the- territory of the deceiver. 

^ ne would he wend ; i. e. he would not stir. § their law. 


Both tower and town ; 
And with tresor that he wan there 
Many a church he let areer. 

That was of great renown. 

Our author, whose disposition to prolixity, 
where an enumeration of churches is concei*ned, 
is not inferior to that of Tui*pin himself, is fortu- 
nately diverted from his list by a miracle, the re- 
cital of which he likes still better. Ft seems that 
whilst Charlemagne was lying at Bayonne, a cer- 
tain knight in his army called Romain died, and 
directed his executor to sell his horse and other 
goods, and to distribute the money to the poor. 
The executor appropriated the money to his o\7n 
use 5 in consequence of which the deceased, whose 
intended alms had thus been intercepted, was kept 
some time in purgatory, and on his release appeared 
in a dream near the bed of his former companion, 
to whom he denounced the speedy punishment of 
his iniquity. The terrified executor related this 
dreadful vision in the public hall 5 and while he 
was yet speaking, a small company of daemons 
borne on a gust of wind flew into the room, car- 
ried him into the air, traversed the province, and 
dashed him to pieces against a rock in Navarre, 
where his body was found at the next march of the 


The reader will perhaps be of opinion that Ro- 
land and Ferragus, the two heroes of this curious 
narrative^ have delayed their appearance quite 
long enough ; and it must be confessed that the 
poet has rather unaccountably omitted some ad- 
ventures of the former at Bordeaux^ with which 
Turpin has somewhat enlivened the list of miracles 
and monasteries which forms the principal part of 
his history. But it seems to be his opinion^ that a 
description of the person and manners of Charle- 
magne^ being equally suited to the beginning or 
end of his story^ could not be displaced in the mid- 
dle. He has therefore inserted it here. 

Charles was considerably above the middle sta- 
ture, being, *' as the Latin us said" twenty feet 
iia Jieight, of proportionate strength, and of a stem 
aspect His hair was blacky his coimtenance 
ruddy. At four festivals in the year, that is to say, 
at Easter, at Whitsuntide, on St. James's day, and 
at Christmas, he wore, from motives of piety, " the 
holy crown of thorn )'* and on these occasions he 
dined in public, surrounded by his knights, having 
a drawn sword caiTied before him. At night 
his couch was guarded by a company of a hun- 
dred knights, each bearing in one hand a lighted 
torch, and in the other a naked &lchion. It 
was during one of these festivals at Pampelune^ 


where he displayed his usual magnificence^ that he 
received a challenge from Ferragus, a general sent 
gainst him by the soudan of Babylon^ to meet 
him in the field. 

And on a day came tiding 
Unlo Charles the king. 

All of a doughty knight. 
Was comen to Fasers * j 
Stout he was^ and fierce^ 

Ferragus he hight. 
Of Babyloun the soudan 
Thither him send gan. 

With king Charles to fight ; 
So hard he was to-fond f. 
That no dint of brond 

No grieved him, I plight. 
He had twenty men's strength j 
And forty feet of length 

Thilke paynim had ; 
And four feet in the ^ce 
Y-meten J on the place. 

And fifteen in brede^. 
His nose was a foot and more ; 
His brow, as bristles wore j 

• The name given by Gaguin, -viz. Avager, is equally un- 
intelligible, t f<^«nd, or proved. J measured. § breadth. 


(He that it saw it said) 
He looked lothliche *, 
And was swart f as pitch j 

Of him men might adrede ! 

Charles repaired to Vasers, for the purpose of 
reconnoitring his monstrous enemy -, but, after ex- 
amining him limb by limb with the minutest at- 
tention, was so little tempted by the survey, 
that he declined the challenge; but suffered Ogiei' 
le Danois, whose curiosity to try the strength of 
such an uncouth adversary was keener than his 
own, to encounter the giant in the presence of both 
armies. Ogier armed himself with great care, 
mounted his best horse, chose a lance of uncom- 
mon strength, and rushed upon his enemy with the 
rapidity of lightning 5 but Ferragus, receiving the 
point of the spear on his shield with an air of per- 
fect indifference, seized the knight with his right 
hand, lifted him from his horse, and, trussing him 
under his arm in such a manner that the captive 
could make no effort to escape, bore him off in 
' perfectsilence to the castle of Vasers. The novelty 
of this spectacle astonished but did not intimidate 
the warriors of Charlemagne. On the following 

• loathly. f black. 


morning, the gallant Reynold de Aubepine * pre- 
sented himself to the giant, but was as unsuccessful 
as Ogier ; and Ferragus, not more disturbed by the 
struggles of tlie dauntless knight, whom he held 
under his arm, than a hawk by the fluttering of the 
prey in its talons, tauntingly exclaimed to Charle- 

" Sir ! thou wonnest Spain ! 

" Hadst thou none better tho ? 
" So Mahoun me give rest, 
" Against ten, and swiche f the best. 
To fight ich would go !'* 


Charles, on the next day, dispatched Sir Con- 
stantine of Rome, together with Howel earl of 
Nantes, on the same errand: he then sent ten 
knights at once ; but all shared the same fate -, and 
he foresaw that his army was on the point of being 
taken from him piece-meal by the villainous giant, 
when the formidable Roland demanded the com« 
bat, and, in spite of the king's entreaties, persisted - 
in his resolution of attacking the unbelieving 

* more generally called Renaiid de Montauban ; the Ri- 
naldo of the Italians. f such. 


Ferragos^ well aware^ from the appearance of 
Roland, that he had now to deal with no commozi 
adversary, put forth his whole strength^ and ac- 
tually succeeded in pulling fi-om the saddle^ and in 
putting before him on his own horse's neck^ the 
greatest and most redoubtable of all Christian 
champions : but Roland, after a short mental 
prayer to Jesus, exerted himself so efiectually that 
with a sudden jerk he unhorsed the giant in his 
turn, and fell with him to the ground. They now 
remounted as quickly as possible ; and Roland drawl- 
ing his sword, the terrible DurindaJe, aimed a 
blow at Ferragus, which, though it missed the 
rider, cut off the head of the horse, and brought 
them both to the ground. Fenagus revenged him- 
self by killing Roland*s horse, whom he felled to 
the earth by a blow of his fist, llie champions 
were now both on foot, and commenced a combat 
which lasted from the morning till nighty and 
which, tliougli highly interesting to the very nu- 
merous spectators, was perfectly harmless widi 
respect to both the actors, because Roland pru- 
dently avoided the grasp of his adversary, and, 
parrying every blow, applied the edge of Durin- 
dale to all parts of the giant's impenetrable hide ; 
but without being able to make the least impres- 
sion. Ferragus, however^ contrived to dre hinoi- 


self so effectually by his useless exertions^ that he 
was the first to propose a truce till the next day ^ 
when Roland resolved to try the effect of a new 
weapon^ having sufficiently ascertained that his 
sword^ though so well tempered as to cut the 
hardest marble^ could not even scratch the skin of 
this huge Saracen. 

On the following morning the batt^p was re- 
newed. Roland now brought with him a knotty^ 
oaken club ; and as his superior address still ena- 
bled him to avoid his enemy*s weapon^ he had 
nothing to do but to beat the giants at his leisure^ 
with the club, from morning till noon. Ferragus 
felt the weight of the blows, and became more 
exasperated, and rather more awkward than before ^ 
but the cudgel was as incapable of bruising as the, 
sword had been of cutting him. At noo^ there- 
fore the champions, by common consent, dropped 
their weapons, and began to throw stones at each 
other 5 and this curious battle was kept up till Ferr^ 
ragus became immoderately sleepy, and requested 
permission , to take a short nap. Roland, whose 
courtesy was equal to his valour, readily con- 
sented) and the giant, almost instantly falling 
asleep, began to snore so unreasonably loud, that 
his adversary heard him first with astonishment, 
and at last with compassion, conceiving that he 



ofufiit be in great pain, and that neidxtr man tux 
monster cooid be natumll|r tndiiied to slumbers so 
?ety noisy and unharmonions. He theiefore, afor 
surveying all the fragments o£ rock whidi tb^ 
bad lately thrown at each olfaer^ at length pitdied 
npoa one which appeared sufBcientlj smooth to 
form a tolerable pillow 5 and^ havuig placed it with 
great care under the giant's bead, had the sads- 
Action of perceiving that his repose became, in 
consequence, much more tranquil. Femgos, 
however, at last awaked, stared about him, rubbed 
his eyes, and, not being aware of Sir Roland's la* 
lents for bed-making, ee^rly inquired who had so 
kindly provided him with a pillow; adding, that he 
should ever consider as his fiiend the person who 
had done him this good office ; upon which the 
knigfht replied that he had done it, partly indeed in 
charity to his own ears, which had been almost 
deafened: '*but,'* CMithiued he, ^'sinceyouarenow 
very fond of me, pray tell me whether yaa are all 
over invulnerable ? Ferragus answered that he was, 
excepting only in the navel 5 and then inqmred in 
his turn into the birth, parentage, and education 
of his new acquaintance. 

It was not to be expected that the piom Boiand 
should reply to all these particulars, without men- 
tioning his religion ; and this natufally kd him t» 

ROLA^tf AKb FEAkAOtrSi 307 

httibhi that the gdod fd&iA whcriii he was then sd- 
dres^g^afi ultimately doomed to gd to the devils 
FettkgOiii on hi* part, a#ftre that stupidity \S ustiall^ 
impute to the Irholefafce^ (if gi^ts> becim^imjd- 
€itt9 fo coiiyince his opponent of his taleifts for dis* 
putation, and de^red Roldnd to give hiai ^ lessott 
in Christianity ; which the othet teadily tmdettook. 
The <:!Ombat was, by mntnal cottsent^ postponed > 
iad the Chfistiaii heto prepared to tfy ttrhether th€ 
itaOnstef s head Wa^ taoi-le {^viots to atgUtti^Vi^ 
fiian to the knots of his cluh, ot tb th& tfeiJcfiaM 

Roland begisto hj stating very cdticisely tiie se-» 
irewif pohltS of his creed 5 to dl 6f whi6h Ferfagti* 
fttceessivcly opposed his otrjectidhs. He begaitl by 
the Trinit y 

FerragtiS Said tho 

It no might never be so 3 

Th6f6f I segge nay !" — 

But his instructor was prepared with a number 
of illustrations. As the harp is composed of ttiree 
things, viz. wood, strings, and harmony j and as 
the sun unites heat/ light, and splendour > so is 
6od one god and three persons, Ferragus de- 
clared that he had now a very clear conception «f 

X 2 


the Trinity ; but he could neither believe nor at all 
comprehend the birth of our Saviour. Roland told 
him that the birth of Adam and that of £ve were 
not less miraculous and incomprehensible; and 
that God, finding it necessary to send us a redeemer, 
might have either caused him to appear amongst 
us immediately, or through the intervention of that 
birth which he had established for the rest of his 
creatures : but that, either in deviating from or 
conforming to his own general laws, his conduct 
on this occasion must have appeared to us equally 
mysterious. Ferragus, not being prepared to can- 
vass this argument, consented, for the present, to 
admit it} but declared tliat the death of God upon 
a cross was quite impossible ; and that his resur- 
rection was equally incredible : • 

*' For that I ne wist never no man 
** That arose after than 

'* When that he dead was.** 

Roland, unwilling to lose his proselyte by want 
of apparent deference to his experience or under- 
standing, appeared to consider this objection as of 
great weight, and answered that in fact the god- 
head did not die while the animation of the body 
was suspended j but was then employed m th* 


work of our redemption ; and that hence arose our 
hopes of 2l blessed immortality. Ferragus appeared 
«o far satisfied ; and expressed no farther doubts^ 
excepting as to Christ's return to heaven, the 
height and distance of which appeared perfectly un- 
measurable. Roland replied, that God could re- 
ctum thither with as muct ease as he had descended 
from thence 5 and that with respect to the distance 
of heaven, it was not less wonderful that the sun, 
after having manifestly set in the west, should in 
the course of the night measure back its whole pro- 
gress, and rise in the opposite point of the firma- 

Roland had probably entertained great hopes 
from the ingenuity of this last illustration, and wias 
therefore not a little disappointed when the per- 
verse giant made him the following speech : 

Quath Ferragus, '' Now ich wot 
'* Your Christian law every grot 5 

" Now we will fight, 
" Whether law better be, 
" Soon v/e shall ysee, 

" Long ere it be night,*' 

However, as it was clear that the giant was 
tired of theology, and verj' unlikelj- to be converted 


3lp ^OLAlfP 4NB FEKft^a^t. 

}p(y peimiasion, it ^e^fmp wpe^wiy to try oaep 
a|0|-e what could be ^ocpmpUsb^ by force. Sot^ 
combatants were perfeptly vrfreshe4* boib wef^ 
^cei^ed by tb^ir late dispQt«tioa« and their firvt 
strokes were dreadfVd. ^at of fiolapd nearly 
crushed his antagonist^ whp izi bi9 tum cut in two« 
with a sjngle blow pf his swordj t^ massive oakea 
^ub which had been phos^ a^ th^ mpst fi;>rmi^l^ 
liire^poii ip all Charleniagn^*s ari^oury. Ferr^gof 
^OYf began to exult at the p^speqt of an easy vicr 
t9Xy i bvit Upland devoutly falling on his knees 
pr^ri^ a pi'ayer to heaven^ and request^ th$ 
divine interference in a combat which he had unr 
dert^en solely for the purpose of vindicating his 
insulted r^igion. An angel immediately de? 

And said, '' Heard is thy bpon ; 
'' Arise, Roland, and fight, 
'' And shed the shrew* s * bloody 
'' For he n*as never good 
By lond nor by sea 5 
Though ^11 the preachers alivQ 
'' To Christendom would him shrive f, 
'^ Good n'oldhe never be !** 

* accursed man. t confesy*^ 

no%Ant} AND YEBRAcnris. 31 1 

The Christian champion now felt himself pos- 
sessed of a degree of strength which no human 
power could resist. Though only armed with a 
fi^gment of his club^ he struck off the left arm of 
the giant^ and t^ a second blow felled him to the 
ground; after \fHbich easily disarming him^ he 
pierced him with his own sword through the navel^ 
the only vulnerable part of his person. The ex- 
piring Ferragus loudly called on his god Mahomet ; 

Roland lough * for that cry. 
And said, '^ Maboun> sikerly. 

No may thee help nought. 
No Jupiter, no Apolin, 
*' No is worth the hrust of a swin f , 
'^ In heart no in thought." 
His ventail he gan unlace. 
And smote off his heved in that place^ 

And to Charles it brought : 
Tho thanked he God in heaven. 
And Mary, with mild steven. 

That he so had y- wrought. 
And all the folk of the land. 
For honour of Roland, 

* laughed. f bristle of a sow. . 



Thanked (rod, old and young ; 
And yede a processioun. 
With cross and with gonfanoun. 

And salve^ and merry song. 
Both widow and wife in place> 
Thus thonked Godis grace^ 

All that spake with tongue; 
To Otuel al so yem, 
That was a Sarrazin stem 

Full soon this word sprung. 

These concluding words seem to connect this 
romance with the following. 



The fable of this romance, though not contained ' 
in the original Chronicle of Turpin, appears to have 
been very soon engrafted on and connected with it. 
I do not know that it was ever printed ; but . it is 
preserved in MS., though in an imperfect state, in 
the Auchinleck volume. The fragment contains 
17^8 lines, and is written in couplets with conside- 
rable spirit and animation. A second MS., in six- 
lined stanzas, is in the possession of W. Fillingham, 
Esq. The style of this is much more languid and 
feeble, resembling pretty nearly the diction of the 
romance which we have just examined. It has, 
however, the merit of completing the story, and of 
furnishing a paraphrase of Turpin's Chronicle from 
the period of the death of Ferragus to the battle of 



Herkneth, both ying and old. 
That willen hearen of battles bold ! 
An ye woll a while dwell. 
Of bold batayk ich woll you tell^ 
That was, some time, between 
Christian men and Saracens keeo. 

After this exordium the author proceeds to tell 
us that, while Charles reigned in France, the throne 
of Lombardy was occupied by a Saracen prince 
named Garsie, who '' leved all in Maumetrie,*' and 
harassed the Christians, throughout his vast terri- 
tories, with unceasing persecutions. MarseiUeSj^ 
and many of the southern provinces of France^^ 
were tributary to him i and fifteen kings were, proud 
of serving under the banners of a chief who looked 
forward to nothing less than the extirpation of the 
Christian faith throughout the finest countries of 
Europe. Such a man was the natural enemy of 
Charlemagne, to whom he resolved to send his de- 
fiance, couched in terms of the utmost arrogance j 
and, for the purpose of giving the greatest notori- 
ety to the insult, chose one of those great festivals 
when the Christian emperor was surrounded by 



his twelve peers^ and selected an ambassador whose 
haughty and presumptuous character was sure to 
be peculiarly offensive. 

Otuel his name was; 
Of no man afear*d he n'as. 
Into the palace tho he cam^ 
A squyer by the bond he nam. 
And said, '/ Ich am comen here 
King Garsie*s messangere. 
To speak with Charles king of this Jond, 
And with a knight that bight Roland^ 
And with another bight Olyvere, 
Knight^s bolden witbouten peer j 
" Those three I beseech thee 
'^ That thou tell me wh:ch they be." 

The squire beheld with awe the commanding 
deportment of the stranger, and, respectfully taking 
his hand, led him to the upper end of the hall, 
where Charles was seated on his throne, a bench on - 
|iis right hand being occupied by Roland, Olivier, 
apd Ogier le Danois. Otuel, surveying the whole 
assembly with an air of conscious superiority, stalk- 
ed up to the impori^l seat, and then fixing his 
eyes on Charles, 



He said to Yxim, amid hb hall. 



Sire king ! foul mote ye fall * ! 

" Thou art about to grieve 

" Mahoun, that we on believe ; 

" Therefore have thou maugri f / 

" So thee greeteth Garsie by me, 

*' That havelh a message sent 

" To seggen his commandement. 

" And thou, Roland, that art his knight, 

*' Now I know thee by sight. 
May I meet thee in the field. 
With thy spear and with thy shield, 

*' Ich wole wite, so mote ich the J 

*' Right between me and thee !** 

During this speech many of the company be- 
trayed evident marks of impatience 5 but the cour- 
teous Roland simply answered, that the insolence 
of an ambassador might be indecorous, but was not 
very terrible, particularly when the speaker was 
not known to have signalised himself by any pre* 
vious exploits. Otuel now began to enumerate 
the Christian hounds who had already fallen be- 

• may evil befall you ! f be thou accursed ! Old Fr. 

J prosper, • 


neath the edge of his good sword Corrouge, and 
pursued his narration in terms so offensive that 
Estujrt of Legiers, one of Charlemagne's knights, 
seizing a fire -brand from the hearth, aimed a blow at 
Otuel, which Roland very dexterously intercepted j 
and at the same time the king himself, interfering, 
ordered that no one, on pain of his severe displea- 
sure, should presume to attempt any act of violence 
against a person invested by the general law of na- 
tions with a sacred character. The monarch's 
injunction would perhaps have been obeyed but 
for the increasing arrogance of Otuel, who scorned 
to shield himself under the protection of any law, 
and threatened with instant death whoever should 
be 8o t)resumptuous as to assail him. At these 
words a French knight, whose name is not men- 
tioned, came behind him, seized him by the head, 
laid him prostrate on the ground, and, having taken 
a knife from the table, attempted to stab him. But 
the Saracen was protected by an excellent coat of 
mail beneath his robe, and, instantly rising unhurt, 
drew the terrible Corrouge, and with the first blow 
cut down the assailant. The hall was now filled 
with tumult, but Otuel exclaimed with a voice of 
thunder : 


*' By the Lai>er(l. * Sire Mahoun, 
' *' Knightes ! ich rede f , sitten adown ! 
^^ For, if any of you so hardy be> 
** That any stroke minteth % to me, 
'^ Mahoun my God ich here forsake, 
«' Gif he shall ever orders take, 
** Of any other bishop's hond, 
" But of Corrouge my good brond § V* 

It cannot be supposed that this insolent speecbi 
or the imposing figure of Otuel, who held in hit 
hand the good sword Corrouge, still reeking with 
the blood of his adversary, could have inspired any 
terror in an assembly composed of the btafeat 
knights in Christendom 3 yet it ,was observed that 
the voice of Charlemagne, which bad before been 
drowned in clamour, was now better heard, and 
his injunctions to abstain from violence to the an»* 
bassador more willingly obeyed. Indeed a cod- 
lidemble part of the company showed their re^^^t 

• \oid. f advise. \ aiuieth. 

5 It w» very eommoft with knights ef f airt to ertd iHtit 
days hi hennitages j previously to which they tt^igtiSif p«t 
ceived the clerical tonsufe. Otuel*s allusion to this ttrt^ 
mony must have been a favourite joke, a few centuries back, 
because it appears very frequently in our old romances. 


by retiring from the hall, so that Otciel waa left 
with Charles and his immediate counsellors. 

The king now earnestly requested him to givo 
up his sword, the retention of which was evidently 
indecent 5 and Roland offered to pledge himself 
for its faithful restoration whenever he should de- 
sire to depart • but the pertinacious Saracen con- 
tinued insensible to their courtesy, and, declaring 
that if he had twelve squires at his orders he would 
trust to himself alone the care of his favourite 
Corrouge, still preserved the same menacing atti- 
tude. The king, unwilling to continoe an inde- 
corous altercation, at length waived this point of 
ceremony ; and, calmly observing to the Saracen, 
that the personal violence in which he had thought 
fit to indulge had only tended to render unintel- 
ligible the message which, he had been ordered to 
convey, requested that he would plainly deliver 
the purpose of his emb^sy. 

Otuel replied, that Garsie, king of Spain and 
Lombardy, and of other countries almost innu- 
merable, had sent him to announce his imention 
of ravaging France with fire and sword, unless 
Charles should consent to avert the unequal con- 
flict by renouncing Christianity; by making satis- 
faction for divers outrages committed, at his insti- 

320 sIk otuex;. 

gation^ on the faithful followers of Mahoipet ; and 
by readily taking the oath of allegiance as vassal to 
the said Garsie : 

" And certes, but it so befall, 

*' Garsie will give thine londes all 

** To Olerent of Esclavonie, 

•• The king's son of Germanic; 

** Tliat haveth his o * daughter to wife, 

** That he loveth as his life. 

** Thus shaD all thy mirth, adown, 

•• But thou leve on Sire Maliou^ l" 

Before C3iarlemagne could offer any remark on 
these impertinent conditions^ the dousipcrts ex- 
claimed Avith one voice, that if their sovereign 
would condescend to lead them" against Garsie, 
they would soon punish him as he deserved, for the 
insolence with which he threatened to dispose of 
their lands to his misbelieving Saracens. 

'* Certes, sire king," quath Otuel, 
** Thine Frenche knights can yelpe-f well } 
** And when they be to war y-brought, 
** Thenne be tliey right naught ! 

• one, only. f boast. Sax. 


'' Though thou bi-ing, with shield and spear, 

*' All that ever may weapon bear, 

'' To warre upon king Grarsie, 

'' Certes, all they shoulden die. 

*' And thou art king, and olde knight, 

*' And havest iloren * all thy might, 

*' And in thy yingthe f, take good heed, 

" Thou were never doughty of deed !'* 

Even the patience of the temperate Charle- 
magne was scarcely proof against this wanton per- 
sonal insult J and the twelve peers were incensed 
almost to madness. Roland, however, still pre- 
serving his dignity, only replied, that should his 
good fortune in tlie field lead him to encounter the 
boasting ambassador, he trusted that he should so 
behave as to cure him of his contempt for French 

•'Ough!" quathOtuel, and lough, 
*' Whereto makest thou it so tough ? 
*^ Why threat me in another land, 
" When ich am here at thine hand ? 
'' Gif thou havest will to fight. 
When ever thou wolt, let thee dight. 


* lost. f youth. 


'' And thou shalt find me readjT^ ^plight, 

'' In the field to *bide fight" 

" By God/'quath Roland, "icb wooWbcyatre^^ 

'' When ich wist to find thee there ! 

" And evil mot he thrive and the, 

'' That first failetb of me and thee 1 


The impetuous Otuel immediately named thr 
next morning for the time of meeting 5 and Roland 
having with equal e3gemess» consented to the'propo- 
sal, the two champions threw down their gages, and 
solemnly pledged themselves t® the performance of 
the battle. Charles, tliough personally insulted by the 
arrogance of the Saracen, could not help admiring his 
spirit, and lamenting that such an intrepid warrior 
should be ignorant of the virtues of baptism. He 
therefore earnestly conjured him to be baptized^ 
and to forsake his false faith, jjromising to reward 
his compliance by the richest investiture that his 
spacious dominions could furnish. Otuel only 
answered by fresh outrages; after which the king 
at length bethought himself of making an inquiry, 
which perhaps may be thought to have been un- 
usually deferred, into the rank and name of an 
ambassador, whose ready eloquence watf much 
more remarkable than his courtesy, 

• ready. 



Otad answered this : 

A kingis son ich am, y-wis, 
'^ Sooth to sasf, and nought to lie, 

Ich am the kic^^s cousin Grarsie. 

Ferragos mine erne was, 
*' That never overcomen n'as. 
'' Sir Roknd, thy cousin, him slough * 5 
*' Therefore will rise wo enough ! 
*"' Therefore I desire so miche f , 
'' To fight with Roland sikerliche. 
'^ Ich wol, tomorrowen in the day 

jlwreken % his death, gif ich may," &c. 


The mention of Pem^us convinced Charles, that 
the arrogance and discourtesy of the gallant stranger 
were family failings, with which it would be use« 
less to contend : he therefore summoned his cham* 
berlain. Sir Regnier, and strictly enjoined him to 
take care that the representative of kingCrarsie 
should be protected against any attack which the 
eccentric manner of executing his commission 
might tend to draw down upon him, and be con* 
ducted to his inn, widi all die honours to which, 
as a knight, he was entitled. Sir Regnier accord- 
ingly attended the stranger in person to his lodging, 

• #lew. t niuch. \ avenge. 

T 2 


and, taking his leave with due ceremonj, returned 
to court. 

Chaiiemagne had little sleep throughout the 
night. During an attentive survey of Otuel's per- 
son, he had observed in him the marks of unusual 
strength ; inferior perhaps to that of his cx)lossal 
uncle, but not less formidable, because it was 
united with much address and agility. He began 
to tremble for his nephew 5 and, risii^ before the 
lark, conducted Roland to church, where they 
both heard mass and received absolution : but early 
as they were at their devotions, they found, on 
their return to the palace, the punctual Otuel al- 
ready mounted and armed at all points. The ma- 
licious Saracen, affecting to overlook his adversary, 
addressed the king, and inquired after his nephew. 
" Yesterday," said he, '' the knight was full of va- 
lour, and eager to fight me 5 perhaps he has been 
let blood, and is now in a more peaceflil temper of 
mind." '* Thou shalt soon feel," answered Roland, 
'^ whether my arm is bloodless." He then hastened 
to put on his armour 5 whilst Otuel calmly rode 
off to die place of combat, a small peninsula on 
which they could fight without the fear of inter- 

Roland was not slow in following to the ap- 
pointed spot J but in his eagerness he missed the 


straight road which Otuel had pitrsued^ and, uirwil- 
ling to trace back the winding bank of the river, 
spurred his steed without hesitation, plunged into 
the water, and swam over to the opposite side. 
The encounter of the two champions was instant 
and terrible. Their lances were shivered 5 their 
horses floundered at the shock : but tlie riders were 
inmiovable, and, having again taken their ground, 
drew their swords and began a closer and more de- 
cisive conflict. Roland aimed a furious blow at his 
antagonist, but it glanced by him and pierced the 
brain of his horse ; upon which, with his usual 
courtesy, he reined back his own, and waited till 
Otuel had disengaged himself, without offering to 
renew tlie blow : but the thankless Saracen only 
rallied him for his awkwardness in missing a knight, 
whose stature afforded so fair an aim as to render 
the butchery of the horse perfectly inexcusably. 
Otuel, however, wa^ soon guilty of the same awk- 
wardness, and, conscious that his raillery might 
now be retorted, imitated the gallantry of Roland, 
and waited till he had recovered his feet and could 
engage on equal terms, — 

And said, ^^ Roland, so mote ich the, 
'* That stroke ich meant to thee 5 

339 Sin OTOfiL. 

" And now it is on thy steed f$hmi^, 
** Let now stand duntfir duni f ." 

The foot-combat wliich now conunenced^ proved 
that the Saracen was worthy^ fn>m his strength, 
his skill, and his vigilance^ to encounter the inr 
vincible Rolandj who feeling a high esteem for 
his opponent, resolved to make another effort to 
conciliate an enemy who might, if once con- 
verted, prove a - most valuable supporter of 
Christianity. He theref<^e repeated the oikt 
already made by Charkmagiie, promising him as a 
further inducement tl^e hand of the beautiful Beli-> 
sent, the king's daughter -, and Otuel, though he 
stiU refused the proposal, now condescended for 
the first time to answer in terms of courtesy. In 
the mean time, Charlemagne, who was a near 
spectator of the combat, continued to survey it 
with increasing trepidation. Roland, at length, 
growing angry, made a dreadful blow at the head 
of Otuel, which he evaded by a sudden motion of 
his body 3 but the sword in its descent struck hka. 
on the loin with such violence as to bring him with 
one knee to the ground, (iharlemagne exulted ; 

* impressed) inflicted; stanUuii Sax. 
f dint for dint, blow for blow. 


but the Saracen instantly retained a stroke so weU 
foroed, that it cut away a considerable part of Row- 
land's hauberk^ and^ though it produced no efTect on 
tile weftrer, terrified the king to such a degree, that 
he began to anticipate the defeat and dea^ of his 
Dephew. In this extremity he fell on his knees, 
directing all his courtiers to imitate his example, 
«nd to pray to heaven with all possible fervency 
that the heart of Otuel might be turned, and that 
he might become a proselyte. They did so 5 and 
'the miracle immediately followed. A white cul- 
ver descended through the air, and, in the sight of 
all the multitude, gently perched upon the crest 
of Otuel, who, retreating a few steps, demanded 
;a parley. 

And said, '^ Roland, thou smitest full sorel 
" Withdraw thine bond, and smiteth no more^ 
" Gif tkou wilt holden that thou me bet *, 
^' That ich shall wed that maiden sweet 
" The kingis daughter Belisent, 
'^ Forsooth, then is my wille went f, 
'' Gif I shall wedden that fair may, 
'^ Ich will believen upon thy lay J, 
'^ And alle mine gods forsake, 
^' And to your God ich will take*." 

* promised. f my incUnatioH fixed. f law. 


RolaBd replied^ that he was oveijoyed at this 
change of sentiment^ and siooeeely thankful to 
'^ Jesu full of mighty** through whose special grace 
it had been operated. The two champions now 
threw away their swords^ and rushed into each 
other*s arms^ ^' embracing and kissing as if they 
' had been brothers 5" and Charlemagne^ who 
speedily joined them^ felt at least an equal joy in 
ratifying the conditions offered by his nephew, ob- 
serving that with four such knights as Roland, 
Olivier, Ogier le Danios, and Otuel, he might bid 
defiance to the united powers of the Saracen mo- 
narchs. They then repaired to the palace, where 
they were welcomed by the '' mirth and melody 
of all manner of minstrelsy," in honour of OtueFs 
conversion 5 and on the following day tlie new 
proselyte received the gift of follaught (baptism) 
from the hands of archbishop Turpin. 

It was Charlemagne's wishx that the wedding 
should immediately take place : but 

Otuel to the king said, 
'^ Sire, keep me well that maid ; 
'^ Forsooth ich n*ill her never wed, 
'^ Ne never with her go to bed, 
*' Ere this war to the end be brought, 
'^ And somewhat of thy will wrought. 


*' When king Garsie is slawe * or lake, 
*' Then is time marriage to make/* 

^Charles, much pleased with the military zeal of 
his son-in-law, summoned a council of the twelve 
peers, and referred it to them to decide whether he 
should immediately ^semble stich forces as could 
be brought together and march against Garsie, or 
wait till the conclusion of the winter. The latter 
was decided on, and the remainder of the year was 
passed in making preparations 5 so that they took 
the field in spring, with an army not less formida- 
ble from its numbers than from its discipline. A 
day of battle was appointed, as usual, and a field 
chosep for the purpose, by agreement between the 
hostile sovereigns ; after which, Charles, march- 
ing into Lombardy, encamped on a spacious plain, 
with his advanced guard on the banks of a river, 
thfe other side of which was occupied by the enemy. 
A bridge constructed by the French engineers, 
where the ground was most favourable to their 
troops, gave them the means of seizing the best 
moment for the general attack. 

But a bridge afforded a temptation which 
French knights could not resist 5 and Roland, 
Olivier, and Ogier le Danois, though all invested 

* slain or taken. 

330 «IR OTUBL. 

with high commands in the arm^, were decoyed 
by the facility of proving their valour^ and set off 
one morning before sunrise in search of adventures. 
Their first exploit was sufficiently fortunate^ They 
met four Saracen princes called, *' as we find in 
romaunce,*' Eurabeles, Balsamun, Astaward, and 
Clarel; attacked tliem; killed the three first, 
made Clarel prisoner, and w^re returning with all 
haste to their own camp, when they perceived that 
their retreat was effectually cut off by a large body 
of the enemy. It now became necessary either to 
murder or dismiss tlieir prisoner, who was mounted 
behind Ogier ; and as it would have been base to 
destroy a knight who had trusted to their Iqyalty, 
they liberated Clarel *, and after swearing to de- 
fend each other to the utmost of their power, and 
making numberless signs of the cross in token of 
their unreserved submission to the decrees of Pro- 
vidence, set spurs to their horses, and rushed for- 
ward into the ranks of t!ie enemy, through whicl^ 
they were resolved to cut themselves a passage.. 
The attempt was certainly rather desperate j but 

* During their debate upon this subject, Olivier swears 
" l)y the laverd Saint Richard ;*' by which it would seem 
that our Richard I. hed, when the French original of this 
romance was composed, been canonised by minstrel au- 

silt eTUEL, 331 

the three friends were no common knights^ and the 
Saracens who endeavoured to stt^ .their progress 
would have acted more wisely by suffering them to 
eflfect their purpose. These wereBirun, Bassan^ and 
Moter, all three cavaliers of great prowess, who 
were successively killed^ together with a great 
number of their followers. But the Saracens were 
now assembling from all quarters. The soudan of 
Tabarie, named Carmel, arrived in time to rally 
the fugitives^ and, attacking Ogier le Danois, threw 
him, severely wounded, to the ground. Another 
soudan, called Anawe of Nubia, rode to meet OKw 
vier, and unhorsed him. Roland indeed killed 
them both, and enabled Olivier to remount -, but 
while these two heroes weie with great difficult 
making their way through the crowds which oj^ 
posed them, the wounded Ogier was still on foot, 
assailed on all sides, and efTectually cut off from 
his companions. At this moment, king Clarel 
perceived his situation, and, riding up, advised him 
to surrender, and received his swovd. 

Clarel was no wedded man 5 
Clarel had a fiiir leman. 
That was hoten * Aufanie, 
And was bom in Ermony. 

• called. 

332 SIR OTU£L» 

Clarel, anon rights *, 

Cleped \ to him two knights^ 

And said to hem anon^ 
*' To my leman shall ye gon, 
*' And say that I sent her this knight, 
" And, that his wound be healed aright, 
*^ And good heed to him nom J, 
*' To saven him 'till ray to-come." 

Whilst Ogier was thus made prisoner by the man 
whom he had hoped, a few hours before, to carry 
to the feet of Charlemagne, and whilst Roland and 
Olivier were glad, after a long and dangerous 
struggle, to save themselves from the same cala- 
mity by a precipitate flight, Otuel had quietly con- 
certed the best measures to repair the bad eflFects of 
their rashness. Having armed himself and all his 
knights, he repaired to Charlemagne, 

And said,' '* Sire, ich dwell too long ! 
" Roland, Olivier, and Ogier the strong, 
'' Over the water alle three 
'^ Beth y-went §, for envy of me, 
" To look where tliey mighten speed 
" To don any doughty deed, 

• right anon ; immediately. f called. 

\ taken. § are gone. 


" Among the Saracens bold : 

" And I should be coward hold. 

" Therefore I ne will no longer abide j 

" To sechen hem ich wol ride. 

'' Though they habben envy of me, 

*' Ich will, for the love of thee, 

'* Fonden * whether ich might comen 

'^ To helpen hem, lest they weren y-nomen. 

*' And gif hem any harm betitf, 

'^ Let hem witen her oivn wit J." 

The king expressed to him the most lively grati- 
tude, and earnestly entreated him to push forward 
with all possible expedition, assuring him that the 
whole army should be immediately marched for- 
ward for the purpose of assisting his efforts. Otuel, 
therefore, having with him many of the dousi^ 
peres, and all the youngest and most active of the 
French cavalry, crossed the river, and galloped on 
at full speed to the rescue of the generals v He 
had not advanced far before he met the two fugi- 
tives, who instantly checked their horses, and 
turned back with him to charge the enemy 5 but, 
being questioned by him respecting the fate of 


* try. f hath happened ; betided. 
\ thank their own wisdom. 


834 dm otviL. 

Ogier, were obliged to answer that they had lost 
sight of him long since^ and that^ being much 
wounded, he was likelj to have fallen into the 
hands of the enemy. 

'' Alas ! alas !" quath Otuel, 

" This tiding liketh me nought well ! 

*' Sire Charles, my lord the king, 

*' Wol be sorry for this tiding ! 

" For Godis love, hie we hlive *, 

" And look we whether Ogier be alive !** 

Roland and Olivier were not less anxious than 
himself to recover their lost companion j and these 
formidable knights were exerting their Utmost speed 
for this purpose, when their way was crossed by a 
Saracen, whose name not unaptly described his 
qualities, tlie huge and redoubtable Encumlx-er. 
Otuel, with the rapidity of lightning, pierced the 
massive champion, and overthrew his big black 
horse 5 whilst Roland, Olivier, and Estuyt of 
Legers, bore down tliree more of Garsie*s officers, 
and thus set an example to the rest of the French 
knights, which they followed with their usual im- 
petuosity. A king of India, named Erpater, armed 
with a mace of brass, ventured to attack the gal- 

• quickly. 

SIR OTUEt. 335 

lant Otuel^ and struck him widi a violence vThich 
would have stunned a conunon hero ; but was soon 
punished for his temerity^ being cloven from the 
head to the shoulders. Clarel alone^ the fiercest 
of the remaining Saracens, was able to oppose some 
resistance to the French knights^ and to stop for a 
short time the disorder of his own troops j who, 
however, were only saved from a total defeat by 
the approach of night, and consequent cessation of 

Tho the ost was withdraw. 
To resten hem, as is the law *> 
King Clarel came, in form of peace. 
With three fellows, ne mo ne less. 
Towards Charleses ost the king, &c. 

arid Otuel went to meet hini, and to inquire into 
the purport of his embassy. Clarel, instead of 
answering his questions, begged in the first instance 
to know his name, having had many opportunities, 
during the late battle, of witnessing his vmparal- 
leled prowess. 


By God, fellow, " quath Otuel, 
*' Ere this thou knew my name full well ! 

*■ custom. 

336 SIR OTU&L» 

«' So God shield me from shame, 
*' Otiiel is my Christiaa name! 
" Mahoun ich habbe forsake, 
*' And Jesu ich habbe me take." 

' This discovery produced, as might be .naturally 
expected^ a violent dispute and quarrel between 
the Christian convert and the rigid Saracen, and 
ended by a determination of fighting, next mom- 
ing^ a duel in the Christian camp j Otuel having 
previously pledged his honour that no insult should 
be offered to his antagonist, and that the merit of 
their respective religions should be fairly tried by 
an appeal to the sword. Clarel was punctual to 
his time, and at day-break appeared fully armed 
before the royal pavilion 5 where, relying on his 
safe-conduct, he thought fit, while expecting the 
arrival of Otuel, to amuse himself with insulting 
the venerable person of Charlemagne, — 

And said, '^ Charles, thou art old ! 

'* Who made thee now so bold 

'* To warren upon king Garsie, 

<' That is chief of all Paynie ? 
All Paynie he haveth in zoold* -, 
Thou doatest, tho thou art so bold!'* 

* government. 


Charles^ it most be confesse % bad sobmittod 
to still greater insults from Otuel ; but tben be 
had been in 'some degree taken by surprise 5 be- 
sides wbicb tbat cbief was a privileged ambassador^ 
and moreover the nephew of Ferragus the giant ; 
whereas he was now elated with victory, and there- 
by rendered so irascible that he determined on the 
instant to punish Clarers presumption, and actually 
sent for his armour and prepared for the combat. 
It is even probable that the expostulations of Ro- 
land and of his other knights would have been in- 
sufficient to deter him from nis. purpose: but 
Otuel, to whom he had lately paid much more 
deference, convinced him that no personal offence 
ought to prevent the decision of a quarrel founded 
on a theological dispute ; and consequently that his 
majesty, though he had " sworn his oath,'- ought 
in the present instance to desist, leaving to him the 
task of punishing Clarel for his mistaken opinions 
in religion, and for his contempt of old emperors. 
In the combat with the lance, both champions 
were, as usuat brought to the ground -, after which 
they drew their swords, and buffeted each other for 
a competent time, and then, growing very angry, 
nmkially exerted all their powers. At this period 
of the battle, Clarel made a blow at his adversary, 

VOL. II. z 


\^h]ch nearly stunned hinii and which he promised 
to repay. 

Otuel, for wrath, anon 

Areight* him on the cheek-bone j 

All tho fell off that wa^ there. 

And made his teeth all bare. 

Tho Otuel saw his cheek-bone. 

He gave Clarel a scorn anon. 

And said, '' Clarel ! so mote thou the, 
" Why shewest thou thy teeth to me ? 
** I n* am no tooth-drawere ! 
" Thou ne seest me no chain f bear.'* 

Clarel feeled hini wounded sore. 

And was maimed for evermore ', 

And smote to Otuel with all his might. 

And Otuel, that doughty knight. 

With his sword kept the dent 

That Clarel him had y-meant. 

And yet the dint slode adown, • 

And smote Otuel upon the crown. 

Quath Otuel, '' By Godis ore, 
'* Saracen, thou smitest full sore ! 

♦ reached him. 
f It should seem by this that it was usual with tooth- 
drawers to wear a chain ; or perhaps a sort of chaplet conw 
posed of teeth which they had extracted. 

.MA OTtJEti 380 

^*'8ith then thy beard was y-shave, 
'''Thou art woxen a strong knave !" 

Otuel smote Clarel tho 

O stroke^ and no mo. 

That never efl word he ne spake, ice. . 

. The event of this combat was celebrated by fes- 
tivities and rejoicings in the camp of Charles, and 
spread grief and consternation through that of 
Garsie, who, however, determined on revenge^ 
and meditated a general attack oti the Christians at 
the moment when they, mformed by spies of his 
intentions, marched forward for the purpose of as- 
sailing him. The armies soon met ^ and the battle 
began, as usual, by a skirmish of the principal of- 
ficers on both sides. A Turquein of great prowess, 
but whose name is not mentioned, rode against 
Roland, and caused him to lose one of his stirrups, 
^ut on a second charge was killed by the Christian 
knight. A second, named Myafle of Bagounde, 
unhorsed and wounded Olivier, but was instantly 
pierced by the spear of Roland. A third, called 
Galatin, was slain by Otuel. At the same time a 
young and beardless knight, followed by a troop of 
iMchelors, all under twenty years of age, nobly 
seconded the efforts .of the three Christian heroes, 
and spread terror through the ranks of the Sara- 

z 2 

340 SIR dTUSL. 

cens. He had even the honour of captuiiflg a 
Turkish princci named Coursaber, and of sending 
him as his prisoner to Charlemagne ; but^ being 
'carried too far by his impetuosity, was in imminent 
danger of being killed by the terrible Poidras of 
Barbary, when he was rescued by Otuel, who as- 
saulted Poidras so violently '* that there he lay like 
a sticked swifte." 

Garsie, who perceived that many of his best 
knights had fallen, and that the dangers of the bat- 
tle were likely to approach his sacred person, began 
to feel great displeasure -, and calling to Arperaunty 

one of his favourite advisers, reminded him that 


the defeat of the French and tlie punishment of - 
Otuel had been solemnly decreed in council, and 
requested him to propose immediately some easy 
means of carrying that decree into effect. Arpe- 
raunt fi'ankly confessed that whilst Roland and 
Olivier were alive, and Otuel continued to brandish 
his good sword Corrouge, he saw no mode of ac- 
complishing those salutary measures : upon which, 
Garsie, addressing himself to Baldolf of Aquilenl, 
a general of known hardihood, ordered him to stop 
the fugitives and lead them against the Christians, * 
promising to follow in person with the rest of th« 
army, and to assist in the capture of Otuel. 


Quath Baldolf, '' By Sire Mahoun, 
'' Laverd, we will don what we moun *. 
*' And come thou after, and take heed 
^* Which manner that we speed. 
*' And, gif thou seest that need be, 
*' Come and help us ere we flee. 
*' For, when a host to flight is went, 
'* But succour come, it shal be shent." 

Baldolf kept his word, and did what he could ; 
and Kamifees, one of the fiercest of the Saracen 
champions, assisted him so manfully that they^ suc- 
ceeded for a time in rallying their troops 3 but 
Kami&^s, being so rash as to encounter Otuel^ was 
speedily killed, after which the disorder of the Sa- 
racens became irrecoverable. 

The Saracens were so adread. 
Into the water many fled ; 
Some swam, and some sunk. 
And cold water enough they drunk. 

The author has now the good nature to recollect 
the unfortunate Ogier le Danois, whom he had 
left some time since a prisoner, under the care of 
jfllarel*s leman. This fair Armenian began by 

• snay. 

« ^ 

54 d SIR OTUEL. 

curing his wounds 5 but, after the death of Clard, 
treated him with great severity, and confined him 
in a dungeon, under the guard of seven knights. 
Fortunately there was a nolle squire, who took 
pity on his suffering, md detennined to abare his 
fortunes. Through his means, Ogier recovered 
his horse and arms, and- forthwith killed four out 
of the seven knights, his jailors; and then hasten- 
ing to the castJe-gate, obtained the means of escape 
through the device of the same squire, who per- 
suaded the porter that they were two adventurers 
going in search of plunder to' the Christian camp, 
and promised him a share of their booty. Thus 
was the good Ogier liberated from prison, and thus 
had he the good fortune of contributing his share 
towards the final discomfiture of the unbelievers; 
Though he had ridden all night without once 
alighting, the joy of seeing his old companions, 
Roland and Olivier, and the amusement of killing 
Saracens, prevented his feeling fatigue or requiring 
any other refreshment j and it may be presumed 
that his horse, who readily took his usual place in 
the battle, must have participated in the feelings 
of his rider. 

The fortuile of the day, as we have seen, was 
already decided ; and the arrival of such a warrior 
as Ogier could not fail of precipitating tlie flight 


of the enemy. Garsie^ who had advanced for the 
purpose of capturing Otuel> finding this impracd- 
cable^ rode off towards his tents^ and was much 
surprised at being overtaken by his ungracious 
cousin^ and by his three Christian companions : 

King Gvarsie saide this ; 
" For his love that God is, 
'' Taketh me alive, and slayeth me nought ; 
'* Let my life hefar-lought * ! 
*' And let me, as a prisoun, gon 
*^ Before king Charles anon, 
^* And don him homage with mine bond, 
'^ To holden of him all my lond." 

• • • . 

Otuel observed to his three companiotis, that there 
aeemed to be no objection to saving the life of a 
xkian whose death would be perfectly unprofitable 
to all parties ; and they having agreed in the same 
opinion, he conducted his prisoner to Charlemagno, 
and explained to him that Garsie had only stipu- 
lated for the preservation of his life, and had vo« 
luntarily consented to a state df unconditional vas- 
salage and dependence on the crown of France. 

Thus ends the Auchinleck MS. — In the conti- 

• ransomed. 


nuation of the story^ Otuel appears to be almost 
forgotten, though his name occurs two or three 
tiroes towards the end of the romance, for the sole 
purpose, as it should seem, of justifying its title. 
I have already observed that such a continuation 
would scarcely deserve notice, but that it presents 
us with the concluding scene in Turpin*s history, 
the batlet of Roncesvalles. 

Charles, having thus terminated the campaign 
of Xx)mbardy, led his unsuccessful rival to Paris, 
where Garsie, convinced that it was out of the 
power of Mahomet or Apolyn to obtain for him 
such terms as he might secure by embracing 
Christianity, consented to be baptized by the hands 
of archbishop Turpin. Soon after this, Charles 
received intelligence that Ibrahim king of Seville, 
having united his forces with those of the king of 
Cordes, was encamped near that city ^ he therei* 
fore collected an army with all possible expedition, 
and marched to attack them. He found them 

With batayles stem ten 5 
The first waren foot-men 

That grisliche were of cheer 5 
With hair they were be-hong. 
And beardys swithe long. 

And homes ip bond bare, 

SIR OTUBli. 345 

These ugly troops were also provided with num- 
berless bells and other sonorous instruments, which 
added to the hideous shouts and yells with which 
they advanced to the attack produced a discord 
truly diabolical. It will readily be believed that 
the valofous knights, who formed the van of the 
Christian army, were very little disturbed either 
by the abominable features, or by the grotesque 
gesticulations, or by the dissonant noises of these 
uncouth antagonists : but their horses, who were 
perfectly unprepared for an encounter with such 
musicians in masquerade, utterly refused ilogw^ 
proach them, and, when roused by the spur fi:dM|^ 
the lethargy of astonishment into which they had 
been plunged by the unexpected sight, suddenly di- 
spersed in all directions, and, charging the French 
infantry with the rapidity of lightning, threw them 
into confusion 5 after which, communicating the 
panic to the body of reserve, they hurried the asto- 
nished Charlemagne, together with his twelve 
peers, several miles from the field of battle. 

The infantry, having at length gained a com- 
manding eminence, were easily rallied, because 
they could not run much further 5 but it was not 
UU late in the evening that they were joined by 
the cavalry, when the king commanded them to 
pitch their tents. On the following morning he 


gave orders that the ears of all the horset in the 
army should be carefully stopped with wax^ and 
that they should at the same time be hood-winked ; 
alter which he marched forward in good cM-der 
to meet the enemy. The Saracens were now re-> 
poised in their turn ; -but maintained an obstinate 
Gcmflict in defence of their sacred standard, which 
was carried in a car drawn by twelve oxen. On 
this occasion^ Charlemagne exhibited the greatest 
heroism^ and^ drawing his good sword Joyeose, 
rushed into the midst of his enemies^ forced his 
way to the standard, cut in two the loqg and mas- 
sive spear on which it was reared, and shortly after 
clove the skull of the ferocious Ibrahim, the ty- 
rant of Seville. Eight thousand Saracens fell in 
this battle ; and on the following day the king of 
Cordes, who had escaped into the city, was forced 
to surrender, and to do homage to Charles, after 
promising to renounce his former creed, and to em- 
brace the doctrines of Christianity. 

Immediately after this victory, the French army 
was called off to repress the inroads of the king of 
Navarre ^ and on this occasion the pious Charles 
was gratified by a fresh miracle. It is well known 
that those who die in battle against the infidels, are 
rewarded by the crown of martyrdom j and if 
this were not a matter of course, it '^as in the pre- 



sent case secared by the express promise made by 
St. James to Charles in his sleep. Now the good 
king wished to know how many of his knights 
werepredesdned to lose thdtr lives on this occasion, 
aad pcayed to heaven that his curiosity might be 
satisfied. Accordingly, the intended victims were 
all marked with a red cross on their shoulder ; but 
Charles finding their number much greater than he 
expected, and wishing to obtmn a cheaper victory, 
left them all behind in a place of security 3 at- 
tacked the enemy j gained the battle ; and re- 
turned without loss. Ih the mean time those for 
whom he was thus solicitous had all expired 3 and 
thus did the good king learn that it is useless to 
oppose the designs of Providence. 

Having at length secured the submission of 
Spain, by distributing all his conquests, either 
amongst his own friends or amongst those of his 
benefactor St. James, Charlemagne became de- 
sirous of returning into France ; but feeling some 
uneasiness at leaving behind him two Saracen 
kings, named Marsire and Baligand, who then re- 
sided at Saragossa, he dispatched an ambassador to 
inform them that they must immediately consent 
to be baptized, or else pay him tribute. The am- 
bassador whom he chose for this mission was the 
/celebrated Guines or Ganelon, whose duty to his 



sovereign and to his countiy was soon over- 
powered by a present of thirty somers (beasts of 
burthen) laden with gold and silver^ which the art- 
ful Saracens offered to him on condition of his un- 
dertaking to lead the French army into the defiles 
of the forest of Roncesvaliesx 

And thritti steedes with gold.fine^ 
To Charles sent that Sarrazin, 

All they were white as flour j 
And an hundred tuns of wine. 
That was both good and fine. 

And s withe fair coloilr *. 

At the same time they permitted Ganelon to 
make, in their name, whatever promises he might 
think necessary for the purpose of preventing any 
suspicions in the mind of Charlemagne. 

The traitor executed his commission with great 

'^ Gaguin, in his translation of Turpin, adds to this pre- 
sent a thousand beautiful damsels, ^ pour en faire a leur 
voulent^," and further explains to us the real cause of the 
tfirnblc disaster which befpl the Christians. ** Mais pour 
autant ^ue les gens de Tost 8*estoient enyvr^s, les nuits 
pr^c^dentes, du vin des Sarrazins que Ganelon avoit amen^, 
aucuns avoient commis le pech^ de fornication aVec les 
femmes Sarrazines, et aultres femmes chretiennes dft 
France." Cap. 20. 

Sm OTUEL. 349. 

acldress^ and suggested such a disposition of the 
French army as insured the destruction of Roland 
and of all his companions. Charles in person com- 
manded one half of the army, and was suffered to 
'pass the mountains unmolested, and to deseed 
mto the open country 3 but no sooner had Koland^ 
who conducted the second division, advanced into 
the forest of Roncesvalles^ than he found himself 
attacked on all sides by the Saracens, who had 
been previously posted on every eminence, and 
had concerted every measure for the surprise of the 
Christians. Roland, as might be expected, made 
a desperate resistance, and, being assisted by all the 
best knights of France, nearly annihilated the first 
body of his assailants ; but the Saracens continued 
to receive constant reinforcements, while the 
Christians were exhausted by fatigue and hunger. 
Constantine of Rome, Ogier le Danois, Reynald 
de Montauban, Sir Bertram the standard-bearer, 
and many others of less note, after performing pro- 
digies of valour, were successively slain. Olivier, 
covered with wounds, was at length over-powered, 
and Roland, after singly cutting his way through 
the enemy, perceived that all hopes of retreat 
were lost, and that nothing remained for him but 
to seek for an opportunity of dying honourably in 
the field. 

550 SIR OTUBt/ 

After wandering for some time in the forest, h& 
discovered a single Saracen, whom he secured and 
bound to a tree ; afler which, having gained aa 
eminence from whence he could discover the ^tua-« 
tion of the enemy, he sounded his ivory horn, col" 
lected round him a small number of his fugitive 
soldiers, and, returning with them to his prisoner, 
unbound him, and promised him life on condition 
that he should point out to them the person of king 
Marsire. The Saracen readily obeyed, and showed 
him the king mounted on a bay charger, and bear-* 
ing a golden dragon on his shield ^ upon which 
Eoland, setting spurs to his horse, dashed through 
the surrounding guards, and with one blow clove 
his enemy to the saddle-bows. Baligand collected 
the remains of the Saracen army, and retreated to 

Roland, now covered with wounds, and be- 
ginning to suffer severely from fever and from 
thirst, dismounted from his horse, lay down under 
a tree, and, drawing his good sword Durindale, 

Tho he began to make his moan. 

And fast looked thereupon. 
As he it held in his bond. 
'* O sword of great might, 
'* Better bare never no knight, 

" To win with no lond ! 


** Thou hast y-be in many batayle, 
*' That never Sarrazin, sauns fayle, 
Ne might thy stroke withstond. 

Go ! let never no Paynim 

Into batayle bear him, 

" After the death of Roland ! 
*' O sword of great powere, 
*' In this world n' is nought thy peer, 

" Of no meital y-wrought 5 
•' All Spain and Galice 
*' Through grace of God and thee, y-wis. 
To Christendom ben brought. 

Thou art good withouten blame j 
*' In thee is graven the holy name 

'' That all things made of nought ! " 

After Uiese words he rose, and,' exerting his 
whole force, struck the sword against a rock in 
hopes of breaking it: but Durindale sunk deep 
Into the solid stone 5 and when he had with some 
difficulty drawn it out, he found the edge un- 

The dying hero now blew liis ivory horn, in 
hopes of drawing round him some friends, if any 
such had escaped from the battle, to whom he 
might consign his sword, and who might join with 
bim4n prayer during his last moments. No one 

332 SIR OTUEt. 

appeared. He made a second efForti and "with 
such violence that he burst the horn^ and at the 
same time so distended all his veins that his wounds 
began to bleed most abundantly^ and soon reduced 
him almost to extremity. The sound of this blast 
was distinctly heard in the army of Charlemagne, 
who wished to return in search of his nephew, but 
was persuaded by Ganelon, that Roland could be 
in no danger, but was most probably amusing 
himself by hunting in the forest. It brought, 
however, to Roland, two of his companions. Sir 
Baldwin and Sir Terry, who having escaped the 
general slaughter had been hitherto wandering 
tlirough the forest, and whom he sent in seiU'ch of 
some water j which however they were unable to 
find. In the mean time a Saracen, coming by 
chance to the spot where the hero lay, endeavoured 
to carry off Durindale 3 but Roland, suddenly start- 
ing up, wrenched the sword from his hand, killed 
him with one blow, and fainted with the exertion: 
so that Sir Baldwin, finding him apparently lifeless, 
laid him with great care across his horse, took care 
of his sword and horn, and conducted him to an 
adjoining valley, where the hero recovering his 
senses had time to make a very long prayer before 
he expired j when his soul was immediately car- 
ried up to heaven by a troop of angels. 


Archbishop Turpln was, at this moment^ say- , 
ing mass for the souls of the dead, and distinctly 
heard the songd of these angels, who were, how- 
ever, too distant to be seen : but at the same 
time he discovered and interrogated a troop of 
black fiends, who were flying to hell with the sou| 
of king Marsire, and who reported to him the death 
of Roland, which he instantly notified to Charle- 

The good king instantly set off towards Ronces- 
valles, and being met by Sir Bald win, who confirmed 
the deposition of the devils, was conducted by him to 
the body of Roland, over which he swooned two or 
three times, and uttered many learned but tedious 
lamentations *. He then prepared for vengeance j 
and, having first prayed to Heaven that the sun might 
be stopped for him, as it had formerly been for 
Josua, (a favour which was readily granted to him,) 
led his army against Saragossa, where Baligand had 

* Though these lamentations are insufferable in th^ 
drawling stanzas of our English translator, they are not un- 
entertkining in the old French of Gaguin. ** O le bras 
dextre de mon coi^ ! Thonneur des Gaules ! Tesp^e de che- 
Valerie! Hache inflexible, haubergeon incorruptible et 
heaulme de salut ! Compart a Judas Machabeus par ta 
valeur et prouesse, ressembiant a Sanson, et pareil a 
Jonatas fils de Saul par la fortune de ta triste mort! O che- 
valier tr^ aspre et bien enseign^ a combattre ! fort, plus 
VOL. II, 2 A 


feond a retreat In this battle^ iSirTurpin di'^ 
stinguisbed himself by many acts of extrBor^&osay 
Tak>ur> as did also Sir Hugon^ Sir Thibaut^ Charle- 
B»gne^ and Otuel, of whom we hare long lost 
lights but who is now brought fcM^irard for the 
purpose of killing Perigon, king of Persia^ whilst 
T^rpin has the honour of destroying the treache- 
rous- Baitgand. Sixty thousand Saracens^ it seems, 
were slain in this long and murderous day 5 after 
which Charles returned to the fatal field of Ronces- 
valles ; where Sir Terry having formally accused 
Ganelon of causing the destruction of the French 
army, and having proved his charge in single com* 
bat, tliat traitor was condemned to be hanged, and 
then torn into quarters by four horses. Having 
thus revenged the death of his nephew^ 

Charlys took his knights. 

And went to Roland, anon rights. 

With swithe great dolo&r; 
Rolandys body he let dight. 
With myrrh and balm anon right, 

Witli swithe good odoiir. 

fert, et tr^s fort ! g6nie royal ! destructeur des Sarrasaiis! 
des^bons Chrestiens d^fenseur ! le mur et de^Rmcedes eieret ! 
le ferme baston des orphelins et veuves! la viande et r^feedoA 
des pauvres ! la r^v^ation des ^lises ! langue sans aroff 
nenti es jugemens de toutes choses/* &c. Chap* say. 

•~a(lR OTDEL. 353 

Both Roland and Oliver^ 
And eyeiych of the dussyper 

With bsdm weren y-dight -, 
Of some^ withouten hH, 
Men didden oat the entxayle. 

And in lead layd hem ^ght : 
And tho that weren nought so. 
Fall well in salt men did hem do. 

To be sweet both day and nightj &c. 

t shall conclude the extract fix)m about eleven 
hundred very insipid lines in the words of the au- 
thor : 

Here endeth Otuel, Roland, audOlyvere, 
And of the twelve dussypere. 

That dieden in the batayle of Runcyvale : 
Jesu lord, heaven king. 
To his bliss hem and us both bring. 

To liven withouten bale ! 

2 A 2 



The following romance^ I believe> was never 
printed. A MS. copy of it existed in the library 
of the late Dr. Farmer^ and a transcript fix>m thif 
•copy^ made by the late Mr. Steevens, was pre- 
sented by him to my friend Mr. Doude, who 
kindly permitted me to re-transcribe it. It is pro- 
fessedly translated from the French^ and contains 
3386 lines. The original may possibly be the 
'*' Fierabras," of which there is a copy in Bibl. 
B .15 E VI. Shelton, in his poem of ''Ware 
the Hawke," mentions it by the name of '• Syr 
Pherumbras j" and Barber^ in his poem of " The 
Bruce," B iii. v. 437> mentions *' The Romanys 
of worthi Ferambrase," the adventures of which 
are related by Bruce to his followers. 

It may probably occur to the reader that this 
story ought to have preceded those of Ferragus and 
Otuel ; because it is absurd, after having accom- 
panied Roland and his companions to the end of 


thdlr pilgrimage in this worlds and even to their 
peaceable establishment in the next^ that we should 
again bring them forward, and engage them in a 
new and independent scene of action. But an ab- 
surdity, more or less, where romances are con- 
cerned, was thought of little consequence ; and 
as the most rational mode of arranging fabulous 
compositions is to place them according to the or- 
der in which they were written, those fictions 
which were contrived on the basis of Turpin's 
Chronicle seemed to have a fair claim to priority. 
Indeed, whatever may be the date of the French 
" Fierabras,'* I think it would not be difficult to 
prove from internal evidence, that the present 
translation c^mot be earlier than the end of the 
fourteenth or beginning of the fifteenth century 3 
whereas the romances of Ferragus, and the first 
part of Otuel, being contained in the Auchinleck 
MS., cannot be much later than 1330, about which 
iime that MS. was completed. 

As it is written in romaunce. 

And founden in books of antiquy td. 

At Seynt Penyse Abbey in Fraunce, 
There as chronicles remembrede be. 


it will be found that a mighty soiida»> named 
LaJban*, sovereign of Babylon^ who possessed 
the Teuowned city of Agnunore on the river 
Flaigote, was a tennUe scoiu^ to the Chmtians^ 
whom he ditiive out of the Holy Lmd. Twelve 
kings and fourteen amirals fought under his 
banners 3 yet his conquests^ and particularly the 
cajpture of Rome^ the former mistress of the 
worlds must be attributed rather to the sins of die 
Chridtians than to the number or valour of his 

It befell^ between March and May, 

When Idnd^ enrage i beginneth to prick» 
When fHth and fielde wax^i gay. 

And every wight deureth her like : 
When lovers slepen with ot)en eye,. 

As nightiugales on greene tree. 
And sore desire that they coud fly. 

That they'mighten with their love be j 
This worthy sowdan, in tliis season, 

Shope him to greene wood to goon. 
To chace the boar, >or the venison. 

The wolf, or the bear, or the lawson §. 

* In the French romances he it, I believe, always called 

f nature. ^ the heart. § bison, wild bull. 


He rode tho upon a forest stronde^ 

With great tout and royalte. 
The fairest that was in all that lande^ 

With alauntes*, lymeris f , and racches \ free. 

Being at length tired of hunting, he sat down 
under a tree on an eminence which commanded 
an extensive view of the sea^ and, perceiving a ship 
at a small distance from the shore, sent an atten- 
dant to hail the vessel, and to inquire for news. 
The officer soon returned, attended by the ship's 
interpreter, who, addressing thesoudan, informed 
him that their cargo was of immense value, con- 
sisting of rich furs, spicery, oil, brass, pearls, and 
precious stones, freighted at Babylon, and intended 
as a present for his m^esty ; but that^ having been 
driven by stress of weather to Rome, they had been 
robbed of the best part of this treasure by the Ro- 
mans ; and humbly begged leave to solicit that he 
would denounce his royal vengeance against the 
authors of this insult. 

Laban, highly incensed, made a vow to Mahonnd 
and to Apolyn, that he would without loss of time 
exterminate all the inhabitants of the guilty city 5 

♦ mastiffs? (seeDucan^ie, vo'. Alanus.) 

f blood-hounds; livnersy Fr. used to track the deer. 

{ common hounds. 


and sent pressing orders to all his tributary kings 
and amirals to attend him on an appointed day with 
their whole forces. Seven hundred sail of vessels 
were assembled to convey the army^ and a large 
ship was fitted up for the purpose of carrying 
the soudan^ together with his son Ferumbras, king 
of Alexandria^ and his daughter Flor^ph^ 

* ( ■' 

Two masters were in the dromound> 

Two godded on high sitten there 
In the master- top, with maces round,' 

To manace with the Christian (ere*. 
The sails were of red sendelef^ 

Embrowdered with rich array 5 
With beasts and birdes, every delet. 

That was right curious and gay. 

The fleet having a prosperous passage, Laban 
caused his army to be disembarked near the mouth 
of the Tyber 5 and, leading them towards Rome, 
laid waste the whole country on his passage, and 
filled the city with consternation. The pope as- 
sembled his council to consult on the best means 
of defence ; and they^ instead of suggesting any, 
advised that messengers should be sent to Charle- 

♦ wherewith to menace the Christian doctrine, 
f for cendale, silk. | part. 

sift FEBUMBRAS. 36l 

xnagne, imploring his timely assistance : but Rome 
$till contained one brave man, named Sabaryz, 
who persuaded them to delay this timid measure ; 
9i»d to make, in the mean time, such exertions as 
'vere in their power. Inspiring I he Roman soldiers 
with a zeal similar to his own, he, after providing 
for the defence of the walls, directed a sally against 
the enemy : 

The stour* was strong, enduring long 5 
The Romans hadde there the field j 

The Sarrazins they slew among. 

Ten thousand and mo, with spear and shield. 

He then retreated in time ^ and, having suffered 
little loss, was received in Rome as a tutelary deity. 
In the mean time Lukafere, of Baldas (Bagdat), 
one of Laban's tributary kings, had been scouring 
the country 5 and with such success that he 
brought into the Saracen can^ no less than ten 
thousand Italian virgins, for the use of the soudan 
and of the army : but tlie soudan happened to be 
out of humour from the loss which he had just 
sustained, and ordered the virgins to be slain j so 
that, says our author, they all became martyrs, 
'^ and therof were they all full fain." 

* Ijattle. 


If chastity, carried almost to excess, was at that 
time the distinguishing quality of the Italian ladies, 
it does not appear that humility was the favourite 
virtue of their conqueror 3 for the same Lukafere, 
having taken this opportunity of demanding the 
princess Fioripas for his wife, voluntarily pledged 
himself to her father to bring the emperor Charle- 
magne with all his dosiperes in chains to the foot of 
his throne. The soudan could not refuse the highest 
reward for such a service 5 and Fioripas herself, 
though not at all enamoured of the king of Baldas, 
readily agreed to accept him when he should have 
fulfilled these conditions. But in the mean time La- 
ban enjoined him the much easier task of assaulting, 
with thirty thousand men, the city of Rome ; and 
Lukafere without hesitation undertook to execute 
the task. He advanced 5 discovered witli some 
surprise that a wide and deep ditch was an obstacle 
to his intended attack 5 vainly tortured his brains 
to devise some expedient for overcoming the diffi- 
culty ; and returned, after suffering some loss, to 
state the impossibility of the enterprise. 

Laban, who had been accustomed to issue his 
commands without inquiring whether their execu- 
tion was practicable, grew very angry, and cursed 
all his gods for suffering a vile ditch to intervene 
between him and the completion of his wishes -, but 


not being fertile in contrivances, lie sent for his en- 
gineer. Sir Mabon, and comnianded him to sug- 
gest an invention which might answer his pur- 
poses. Mabon humbly represented to him, that 
if the ditch were filled with faggots his majesty's 
troops might easily pass over it } and the soudan, 
after commending in terms of rapturous admira- 
tion the ingenuity of his engineer, gave orders for 
this necessary measure ; and directed that the city 
should, on the following day, be assaulted from all 

But the brave Sabaryz was still witliin the walls: 
the Saracens, after a long conflict, were repulsed 
with considerable loss j and the soudan became, al- 
most mad with vexation at this second disappoint- 
ments Lukafere, however, by the assistance of a 
spy, was now provided with a stratagem which 
succeeded. He was told that Sabaryz would, on 
the following day, attempt a second sally; and 
that, by causinga banner to be made exactly similar 
to that of the Romans, he might easily gain ad- 
mittance within the gates, Sabaryz, returning 
from his expedition, discovered too late the artifice 
of the enemy, and in \ain endeavoured to recover 
the tower of which tliey had obtained possession. 

By tlien he found the gate shette. 
With Sarrazins that had it won 5 


And Estragot with him he mette. 

With boar's head, black and dun. 
For as a boar a head he had. 

And a great mace strong as steel 5 
He smote Sabaryz as he were mad. 

That dead to ground he fell. 
This Estragot of Ethiope, 

He was a king of great strength j 
There was none such in Europe, 

So strong and so long in length. 
I trow he were a devirs son. 

Of Belsabubbis line. 
For ever he was thereto y-ivone* 

To do Christen men great pine. 

After the death of Sabaryz, the pope again sum- 
moned his council, and all now concurred in the 
necessity of dispatching an embassy to implore the 
assistance of Charlemagne. On the following day 
tlie Saracens again tried a general assault 5 the 
fleet was brought up the Tyber, with their '* boats 
bounden to the mast,*' for the purpose, as it should 
seem, of giving a more elevated situation to the 
assailants j and the military engines, under the di- 
rection of Sir Mabon, were worked with such suc- 
cess, tliat a " bastile," which formed a principal 
protection to the walls, was laid in ruins. 

♦ accustomed. 



*rho the great glutton, Estragot^ 

With his mighty mace sware ; 
On the gates of Rome he smot^ 

And brake them all on three there. 
In he entered at the gate. 

The porte-cullis they let down fall j 
He weened he had come too late. 

It smot him through heart, liver and gall*. 
He lay cryand at the ground 

Like a devil of hell 5 
Thorough the city went the sound. 

So loud then gan he yell. 

This fortunate event mspired the besieged with 
fresh hopes. Though frequently summoned to 
surrender, they persisted in defending the city; 
and at the close of day had the satisfaction of see- 
ing the enemy otice more compelled to retire with 
considerable loss. 

The |)ope now formed a most desperate project. 
Conceiving that the Saracens, after the death of 
Sabaryz, would feel perfectly secure from any fur- 
ther enterprises on the part of the besieged, he pro- 
posed to march out at the head of twenty thousand 
men, leaving ten thousand for the guard of the 
city, and to attack the enemy in their camp. In 
fact, the scheme was well concerted, and the sur- 

866 iSltl PERUMBRAS. 

prise would have succeeded, but for the rigilande 
of Sir Ferumbras^ who going his rounds about an 
hour before day-break, discovered the march of 
the Romans,' sounded the a]arm> and in the mean • 
time made head against the assailants. The attack, 
however, was well supported} Sir Bryer of Apulia, 
and Sir Hubert, and Sir Gjrndarde, three knights 
in the Boman army, seemed to have inherited the 
skill and courage of Sabaryz, and destroyed great 
numbers of the Saracens -, but the superiority of 
Ferumbras at length became conspicuous. 

Tho came the pope, with rich array. 

His bannere tofore him went 5 
Ferumbras then gan to assay 

If he might that prey entente* ^ 
Supposinjgin his tliought 

There was the sovereign. 
He spared him therefore nought. 

But bare him down there in the plain, - 
Anon he sterte on him allane. 

His ventayle for to unlace 5 
And saw bis crown new-shanef. 

And shamed then he was. 
** Fie, priest, God give thee sorrow ! 

*' What doest thou, armed in the fields 

* attack, attenter, Fr. f newlydiavea. 




'' Tliat shouldest say thy matiDS on moirow ? 

*^ What doest thoa with spear and shi^d ? 

I hoped thoa hadst been an emperour, 

'' Or a chieftain of this hosf here ; 

Or some worthy conqaerour : 

*' Go home^ and keep thy quere*! 
" Shame it were to me, certain, 

'* To slay thee in this batayle^ 
*' Therefore turn thee home again !*' 

The pope was glad thereof sanns ^le. 
He went home to R(»ne that night. 

With five thousand and no more ; 
Fifteen thousand left in the field a plight 

Full great sorrow was therefore. 

This disastrous event might have ultimately led 
to the surrender of Rome, but its inmiediate cap- 
ture was the efifect of treason. Ispres, a man who 
possessed by inheritance the conmiand of the prin- 
cipal gate, repaired to Laban, and offered to betray 
his charge on certain conditions ; which were rea- 
dily promised : but Ferumbras, who was ordered 
to receive possession of the gate, caused the trai- 
tor's head to be struck off by the port-cullis, and to 
be carried on the point of a spear before his troops, 
whilst he proceeded to the pillage of the city. 

♦ quire. 


Ferambras to St. Peter*s went. 

And all the reliqaes be seised anon } 
The cross, the crown, the nayles bent. 

He toke them with him everych one. 
He did despoyl all the cite 

Both of tresor and of gold i 
And, after that^ brent he 

All that ever might be told. 

Thus was completed the triumph of the Maho- 
metans. The booty found in Rome was sent by 
Laban to Aigremor^ where he spent three months 
in constant festivities. The altars of his false gods 
smoked with ceaseless clouds of frankincense^ and 
the pleasures of the table were unremitted. 

They blew horny s of brass ; 

They dronke beastp* blood j 
Milk and honey there was 

That was royale and good* 
' Serpents in oil were fried 

To serve the soudan withal f 
" Antrarian ! Antrarian !" they cried. 

That signifietli " Joye generale.'* 

Whilst the soudan was thus feasting on fried 
snakes, the campagna of Rome exhibited to the 


Christian army, which was advancing to its relief^ 
the most horrid scene of desolation. The messen- 
gers had reached Charlemagne in safety^ and that 
monarch had taken measures to collect his army 
with the utmost speed -, but as his preparations re- 
quired some dme^ and the distress of the Romans 
was pressing, he sent off Sir Guy, duke of Bur- 
gundy, at the head of such troops as were in readi- 
ness, with orders to keejf the enemy in check till 
his arrival. Sir Guy immediately hastened into 
Italy ; but the Saracens were already disembarked ; 
the ruins of the city were still smoking -, the neigh- 
bouring country, exhausted by the enemy, afforded 
no means of subsistence^ and he found it neces- 
sary to halt at some distance, and to wait the ap- 
proach of the royal array. This series of bad news 
greatly exasperated Charles, who swore to be re- 
venged on Laban, and to put him to death, unless 
he should consent to restore the reliques and to ab- 
jure his idolatry -, after which, feeling himself^ as 
people usually do on such occasions, somewhat re- 
freshed by his oath, he began to take with more 
coolness the steps which were necessary for its 
accomplishment. He provided a fleet -, embarked 
bis army; landed on the banks of the river 
Gaze, about thirty miles from Aigremor 5 and be- 

VOL. II. 2 B 

370 SIR PXfttJJtffiRAS. 

gan to pillage the country for the purpose of noti* 
fying hU safe arriral. 

Laban^ always arro^ant^ and rendered still-more 
80 by his late success^ was perfectly astonished at 
the presumption of Charlemagne ; and having cono 
Toked his barons, he thus addressed them : 

" I charge you, upon your legeaunce. 

That ye bring me that glutton. 
*' That clepeth himself king of France, 

Hither to my pavilion^ 
Keep him alive : the remenant sU* } 

The twelve peers each one : 
'' I ^all teach him courtesie ; 

I swear by god Mahoun !'* 




Sir Ferumbras, Sir Lukafere, and the other Sa- 
racen knights immediately seized theif arms, and 
hastened to a skirmish with Roland, Olivier, and the 
rest of Charles's knights. The skirmish became k 
treinendous battle, in which the Saracens were so 
severely handled, that Perumbras was obliged to 
confess to his father, that theit gods„ *' what devil 

• remainder slay. 


SO ever fliem ailed/' had not blessed their arms 
with victory. Charles^ on the other haiid> being 
rather proud of the fes^ts which he had achieved 
with his good sword Joyense^ but unwilling to ar- 
rogate to his own efforts the whole success of the 
day^ chose to share it only with the elder knights 
of his army^ whom he praised in terms so exclu- 
sive^ that his nephew^ the impetuous Roland^ con- 
ceived himself and his brethren in arms to be un- 
justly slighted^ and soon took an opportunity of ex- 
pressing his displeasure. 

The author now presents us with a prayer to 
" the red Mars armipotent," who is invoked either 
by Laban^ or by some other person, to succour the 
Mahometans against the Christians } and then ab- 
ruptly proceeds to assert the necessity, or at least 
the propriety, of falling in love during the spring 
of the year ; and these digressions lead him to de- 
scribe the nations, which are quite sufficiently nu- 
merous^ firom which Laban recruited the late losses 
in his army. 

All these people was gathered to Agremore -, 
Three hundred thousand of Sarrasins fell ; 

Som^ bloo, some yellow, some black as Moor, 
Some horrible and strange as devil of helL . 

2b 2 



He made them drink of beastys' bloody 
Of tiger, antelope, and camalyon *, 

As is her use to eager their mood. 
When they in war to batayle gon. 

Laban addressed this motley army in a speech 
intended to increase tlie warlike ardour occasioned 
by the inflammatory nature of their diet j ordered 
a solemn sacrifice to his gods ; and then directed 
Ferumbras to march against the Christians. 

ferumbras led out his troops 5 but having or- 
dered them to halt in a thick wood, advanced with 
only ten followers to the camp of Charlemagne, 
and, demanding a parley, oflered to flght singly 
against Roland, Olivier, Guy of Burgundy, Duke 
Naymes, Ogier le Danois, and Richard duke of 
Normandy. Charles replied, with proper temper, 
that without resorting to his best knights he could 
easily find a champion who would, singly, be ade- 
quate to a combat with such an adversar}': he 
bowever sent for Roland, and ordered him to ac- 
cept the challenge. 

• meauing, probably, the caroelopardalis. The blood of 
a cameleon would go a very little way towards satisfying 
a thirsty Saracen* 


Roland answered, with wordes bold. 

And said, '^ Sire, have me excused !" 
He said, certainly he ne wold ; 

The batayle utterly he refused, 
'* The last day ye praised faste 

" The old knights of their worthiness ; 
" Let them gon forth j I have no haste -, 
*' They may go shewen their prowess.' • 
For that word the king was wrothe. 

And smote him on the mouth on hie**, 
The blood out of his nose outgoth ', 

And said, " Traitour ! thou shalt abye !" 
*' Abye," quoth Roland, " wole I nought ; 

" And traitour was I never «one, 
" By that lord, that me dear hath bought !" 

And brayde-f out Durindale anon. 
He wolde have smitten the king there, 

Ne liadde the barons run between : 
The king withdrewe him for fear. 

And passed home as it might best been. 

Roland tlius gratified his resentment at the ex- 
pense of a severe mortification j since he thereby 
precluded himself from accepting a combat which 
would have afforded him much satisfaction : and, 

• in haste. f drew. 


by quarrelling with his nnde^ he oaijr gave the 
other barons the trouble of bringiog about a recon- 
ciliation, which he was obliged to purchase by his 
Bubmission. Olivier^ who had been wounded in 
the preceding engagement^ and was then confined 
to his bed^ suddenly rose^ on hearing of this dis- 
pute^ and, hastening to the king, demanded the 
battle with such earnestness that Charles was forced 
to acquiesce. He then put on his armour, mounted 
his horse, and rode to the adjoining forest, at the 
skirts of which he found Ferumbras, who had dis- 
missed his attendants, and was sitting on the ground 
under a tree, to a branch of which his horse was 
secured. The Christian knight courteously saluted 
the Saracen, and proposed the combat : but Fe« 
rumbras, without altering his posture, coldly de- 
manded the challenger*s name -, and being told that 
it was '* Generys," only observed that Chstrles was 
a fool to send him such an adversary, and desired 
the supposed youth to return and tell him so. 

" How long," quoth Olyver, '^ wilt thou plead ? 
'' Take thine arms, and come to me -, 

And prove that thou sayest in d^ed. 
For, boast thou blowest, as thinketh me.'* 

Ferumbras, roused by the stem and menacing 


tone of these words^ uistantly seized his helmet^ 
which Olivier courteously assisted him to lace j 
after which, the combatants, politely bowing to 
each other, vaulted into their saddles, rushed to- 
gether at full speed, shivered their lances, and 
then drawing thmr »^ords commenced a tremen- 
dous combat, of which, because it passed without 
witnesses, the author has given a very minute de- 
scription. Olivier, by an accidental stroke, cut off 
two bottles of halm which were trussed to the 
saddle of his antagonist, and having seized them, 
threw them into the river, to the great indignation 
of the Saracen, who represented that they con- 
tained a medicine of sovereign virtue, and that 
such a loss was absolutely irreparable. The battle 
therefore, after this new injury, continued with 
increased obstinacy; but such was the skill of both^ 
that after a laborious contest of some hours, during 
which neither had been materially hurt, they stop- 
ped by mutual consent to rest themselves and take 

This pause naturally introduced a parley 5 for the 
Saracen, convinced by the blows which he had en- 
dured, that his enemy must be one of the twt^ve 
peers, earnestly requested him to declare his real 





Ol3rver answered to him again : 
For fear I leave it not untold ; 

My name is Olyver, certain^ 
Cousin to king Charles the bold ; 
" To whom I shall thee send^ 
Quick or dead^ this same day, 

By conquest here in this field, 

'i And make thee to rente * thy lay." 

This discovery increased the indignation of Fe- 
rumbras^ whose uuclo^ a certain Psa}'ther king of 
Italy, had^ it seems^ been slain by Olivier. Both 
returned to the fight with renewed vigour : at 
length, however, the sword of Olivier having 
&iled, he ran to the steed of Ferumbras, which 
was tied to a tree, and seized a fresh sword which 
was hanging from the saddle ; but in turning on his 
adversary, received a blow on the shoulder which 
forced him to bend with one knee to the ground. 
At tliis moment Charles^ who had probably very 
good eyes> discovered him from the camp in an at- 
titude which seemed to portend his approaching 
defeat, and began to pray with great fervency that 
his sick nephew might obtain a victory over the 
healthy Saracen. His prayer was heard^ and an 

• deny, disavow; retfier, Fr. 


angel brought him the welcome intelligence ; soon 
after which, Olivier aimed at Ferumbras a blow 
which pierced the hauberk and laid open a part of 
his side^ producing at the same time a most vio* 
lent effusion of blood. The wounded man now 
confessed himself vanquished^ and implored the 
mercy of his adversary. 

'* I am so hurt I may not stonde j 

I put me all in thy grace : 
My gods ben false by water and lond^ 

I renye them all, here in this place ! 
Baptized now wole I been.*' &c. 

He then requested Olivier to accept his horse 
and arms^ and to carry him, if possible, to Charles ; 
warning him that the Saracen army, which lay 
concealed in the wood, had orders to advance about 
this hour of the day, and might, if a moment were 
lost, cut off^ their retreat. 

In fact this friendly intimation came too late | 
and the enemy approached so fast that Olivier was 
compelled to deposit his wounded proselyte under 
an olive-tree, and to take the best measures in his 
power for his own security. In the mean time the 
French army was in motion ^ and Roland, anxious 
for the fate of Olivier, far out- stripping all the rest. 


rushed like lightning into the ranks of die Sa« 
racens. But^ while he slaughtered all within his 
reach> his horse was killed under him by the ar« 
rows of the more distant : he had, in his haste> 
neglected to take with him his trusty Duriodale, 
and had seized a common sword, which now broke 
in his hand ; so that being on foot and unarmed, 
he was at length borne down and made prisoner by 
a crowd of assailants. Olivier behdd, and at- 
tempted to prevent this misfortune ; but bis horse 
also being killed by the showers of darts which fell 
upon him, he was in a similar manner overpow- 
ered, made captive, and conducted, together with 
Remand, to the ferocious Lukafere. Charlemagne 
m^.Je every effort for the rescue of his nephews : 
agd the evening was far advanced when, after an 
unavailing pursuit, in which the enemy suflered 
severely, he consented to give orders for the re- 
treat. In returning to the camp, however, he had 
the good fortune to meet the wounded Ferumbras, 
whom he prepared, in the first instance, to put to 
death in revenge for the captivity of his relations 5 
but being: moved by his piety and contrition, and 
reflecting on the advantages which might accrue to 
Chjistianity from the conversion of such an im- 
portant personage, he conducted him to his tent, 
caused Jiim to be attended by his own surgeons. 


and, after his recovery, directed Turpin to instruct 
and baptize him by the name of Floreyn. He con- 
tintied, however, during the whole of his military 
Hfe tobeknownhy his cnrigioal appellation, and only 
assumed the latter during his declining years, wluch 
were passed in acts of holiness and contrition. 

Roland and Olivier being conducted to Laban by 
Lukafere, were questioned by him respecting their 
names and rank, which they instantly avowed ; and 
the soudan, with as little hesitation, vowed a vow 
to Mahomet that they should both be executed the 
next mormng, a little before dinner. But being 
as ready to break his vows as to make them rashly, 
he determined, by the advice of his daughter Flo* 
ripas, that the said knights should be detained as 
hostages for his son Ferumbras -y but that they 
should be thrown into a deep dungeon, and de* 
barred from all food until the return of Charle- 
magne's prisoner. It may be necessary to observe, 
that the. walls of Laban*s palace were in part 
washed by the sea ; that within these walls was a 
garden, and beneath this garden were the cells of 
the dungeon, which, therefore, at high tides were 
nearly filled with water. Such was, during six 
days, the lodging of our brave knights, who had 
certainly some reason to complain, and who did 
complain so loudly that they at length attracted the 


attention of Floripas. The princess, who had re- 
paired to her garden, " to gather flowers in raom- 
iDg cold," being moved to compassion by the 
g;roans of the prisoners, requested her governess. 
to assist her in relieving their wants, but the old 
witch, whose name was Marigounde, utterly re- 
fused to help her in such an act of disobedience. 
Floripas made no further instances, but continued 
her walk ; and repairing to a window in a pavilion 
which overlooked the sea, suddenly called to 
Marigounde to come and see the porpoises, 
who were sporting beneatli her. Marigounde 
thrust herself forward to behold the sight 5 and her 
young pupil, making a sudden effort, pushed her 
into the water where she was instantly drowned. 



Go there,'* she said -, '' the devil thee speed ! 
" My counsel shalt thou never hewry * : 
Whoso will not help a man at need, 
" An evil death mote he die !" 

Floripas now repaired with the same proposal 
to Britomarte, the jailer, whom she hoped to find 
more compassionate, or more complying than her 
duenna 3 but she was mistaken. Britomarte, not 
satisfied with refusing her request, threatened to 

* betray. 


impart it to the soudan^ and actually set out to 
execute his purpose -, but the active princess^ fol- 
lowing close at his heels, seized the key-clog which 
hung from his shoulder, and with a vigorous blow 
dashed out his brains j after which. 

To her father forth she goth. 

And said, " Sire, I tell you here, 
'^ I saw a sight that was me loth, 

" How the false jailer fed your prisonere ; 
*^ And how the covenant made was, 

" When they should delivered be : 
^' Wherefore, 1 slew him with a mace j 

'^ Dear father, forgive it me !*' 
" My daughter dear, that art so true, 

" The ward of them now give I thee j 
'^ Let their sorrow be ever new, 

'' Till Ferumbras delivered be." 

She now proceeded to the dungeon, attended by 
two maidens, with whose assistance she lowered a 
rope, and successively drew out the two prisonere, 
whom she conveyed to her own apartments, where 
she caused them to be bathed, and after a slight 
repast left them to tlieif repose. 

Thus had the gentle Floripas, in the course of a 
few hours, kicked her governess out of wiiidow. 


knocked oat the brains of a jailer, and cfaeaAedher 
duller, for the purpose of saving £rom destiuctioa 
two of his most inveterate enemies. It was an 
Cffentful day ; and scarcely more so at the conrt of 
Laban than at that of Charlemagne. 

This good king having sonunoned his councH^ 
declared to them his intention of sending Guy of 
Burgundy, as his ambassador, to the soudan, with 
a message importing that '* if the sad soudan did 
not immediately restore bis two nephews, together 
with the reliques taken at Rome, he might expect 
the most dreadful consequences from Charles's ven- 
geance ; and that all his gods would not be able to 
save him from destruction.** On hearing this 
strange resolution, Duke Nayraes of Bavaria, the 
wisest and most venerable of the counsellors, ven- 
tured to represent, that such a message addressed 
to such a man would expose its bearer to certain 
destruction. " By God !** said Charles, " Sir Guy 
shall go, and thou sbalt share his danger !*' This 
indeed was not quite a legitimate argument } but H 
was an answer which seemed likely to preclude all 
further discussion : it however produced a very 
'different effect from that which the king expected. 
Ogier le Danois, B6ry TArdennois, Fulk Baliante, 
Le Roux, Iron of Brabant, Barnard of Prussia, 
Bryer of Bretagne, and even archbishop l\irpin,^ 


successively declared themselves of the same opi- 
nion -with Duke Naymes^ and remonstrated against 
the absurdity and injustice of the measure; but 
Charles, growing more and more angry, gave to 
each in his turn the same answer : and having dis« 
missed them all on the same dangerous errand^ 
seemed to think that the loss of his twelve peers 
in the £eld was well compensated by their absence 
fixmi this councils. 

It was somewhat remarkable that the same mea- 
sure, to which Charles resorted in direct opposition 
to all his friends, was at the same time adopted \iy 
Laban, at the unanimous instance of his wise men } 
and that twelve Saracens of high rank, were sent 
to demand the liberation of Ferumbras, in terms 
no less insulting than those ehiployed in the in- 
structions of the French ambassadors. The dele- 
gates from both sides met in a plain, near the city 
of Mantrible 5 saluted each other -, and mutually 
cotpmunicated their respective orders 5 after which 
the Saracens wished to proceed on their journey, 
but were prevented by Sir Guy, who defied them 
to an immediate trial of arms. The result was 
that the Mahometans were all killed ; and theit 
heads being cut off, were separately packed up, 
and carried to Aigrawor by the French kui^tt 



in company with their credentials. On their ar- 
rival at Laban*s palace : 

Doughty Duke Naymes of Bavere 
To the sowdan his message told. 

And said, ^^ God, that made heaven so clear, 
r " He save king Charles so bold, 
*' And confound Laban, and all his men 

'^ That on Mahound helieven, 
*^ And give them evil ending j Amen ! 

'' To-morrow, long ere it be even, 
*' He commandeth thee, upon thy life, 

'' His nephews home to him to send, 
*' And the reliques of Rome, without strife j 

'' And else gettest thou evil end." 

He then proceeded to relate that he and his 
companions had killed by the way twelve awk- 
ward fellows, who professed to be sent firom 
Aigremor, with a sawcy message to the French 
king ', and then produced the heads as vouchers for 
his veracity. Laban, in a great rage, answered, 
that not having yet eaten sufficiently, he would, 
in tlie first instance, finish his dinner, but that he 
would then order their heads to be cut ofFj and thig 
resolution he confirmed by a solemn oath, which 
Floripas instantly persuaded him to break, by re- 


questing to take charge of the prisoners, till a ge- 
neral council of his barons should have determined 
on the best mode of making their pimishment 
conducive to the release of her brother Ferumbras. 
The princess, therefore, carried them to her apart- 
ment 3 introduced them to their friends Roland 
and Olivier} and, having desired them to point 
out to her Sir Guy of Burgundy, informed them 
that, from the ^vourable report of his character, 
she had, without seeing him, been long enamoured 
of that gentle knight ; that it was her wish to ab- 
jure her false gods, to embrace Christianity, and 
to become his wife 5 that with this view she had 
already done much, and was prepared to do more 
for their benefit ; but that, if slighted by the ob- 
ject of her passion, she was prepared to abandon 
them all to her father's vengeance. 

Sir Guy was, at first, very much jndispos^d to- 
wards this hasty contract 3 but his firiends having 
properly represented to him the youth and beauty 
of Floripas, her important services, and their com- 
mon danger, he at last consented : when Floripas, 
taking in her hand a golden cup 

Full of noble mighty wine. 

She said to him '' My love, my lord, 
VOL. n. 2 c 


" My heart, my body, my good is thine :'* 
And kissed him with that word. 
And, " Sire," she said, ^^ drink to me, 
'' As the guise is of my londe, 
'* And I shall drink again to thee. 
As to my worthy husbonde*'* 


This solemn ceremony being concluded, Flo-* 
ripas informed her guests that she had in her power a 
great variety of excellent suits of armour ; that on 
the following morning they would do well to ar- 
ray themselves in these, and when the soudan 
should be at dinner, to assail him and his guests, 
and to obtain possession of the castle. 

This salutary measure was very nearly discon- 
certed by Sir Lukafere of Baldas, who, before the 
soudan went to table, requested his permijssion to 
visit and interrogate the prisoners. On approach- 
ing the chamber of Floripas, he found the door 
locked 5 but as he was a man of little ceremony^ 
he burst it open with a blow of his fist, and en- 
tered. Finding notliing to excite his suspicions, 
he entered into conversation with Duke Naymes ) 
and, after many inquiries respecting the court of 
Charlemagne, asked what were the usual amuse- 
ments of the knights during the intervals between 
one meal and another. 

SIR PSRtJM^AiS. 367 

Sir^ some men just with spear and shield^ ^ 

And some men cbxoI, and six^good songs; 
** Some shoot with dartes in die fields 
*' And some playen at chess among *." 
• '' Ye ne be bat fools of good disport ! 
" I wole you teachen a new play ; 
** Sit down here by one assort^ 
*' And belter mirth never ye seigk ■(•/* 
He tied a thread on a pole. 

With a needle theron y-fa»t. 
And there upon a quick coal j 

He bade every man blow his blast. 
Buke Naymes had a long beard. 

King Lukafere blew even to him > 
That game had he never before lered : 

He breiit the hair of Naymes' beard to the skin. 

, This conflagration incensed Diike Naymes^ who 
set great store by his long beard. He snatched 9 
burning log from the hearth, applied a blow to 
the forehead of Lukafere, which beat out both his 
eyes, seized him in his arms, threw him on the 
hearth, and kept him down with the Jlre-fprk 
till he was burned to death ^ the gentle Floripas 
continuing, during* the whole time, to applaud 
the execution. 

* together, at the same time. f saw. 

2 C 2 


As it was likely that Laban would be surprised 
at the long absehoe of his friend Lukafere; the 
princess urged the knights to hasten their enterprise j 
and scarcely had she taken her seat at table when 
they rushed into the hall^ and put aU the guests to 
the sword, excepting laban himself, who> though 
closely pursued by 01ivier> had time to throw him- 
self out of window, and idling on the soft sand of 
the sea-shore escaped vrithout injury. The sur- 
prise of the castle was, however, complete ^ the 
knights found themselves in possession of the sou- 
dan's principal treasures, of arms and military en- , 
gines in abundance, and of a considierable stock of 
provisions : and though Laban immediately sent to 
Mantrible, another of his princif^ citadels, to col- 
lect the means of besieging Aigremor, they had 
hopes of receiving assistance from Charles ^ and in 
the mean time the fair Floi;ipas exhorted them to 
enjoy their present advantages with confidence. 

*' Therefore go we sup and make merrie, 
" And taketh ye alle your ease; 
And thirty maidens, lo here, of Assyrie, 
The fairest of them y^ chese * ': 

* choose. 




" Take your spofrt, and kithe* you knights j 
*^ When ye shall have to-done. 
On to-morrow when the day is light, 
'^ Ye must to the walles gon. 
And defend this place with cast of stone, 
*' And with shot of quarelles and dart j 

'' My maidens and I will bring good tvone-f, 
^' So everich of us shall bear his part." 

Laban, being very angry, attempted an assault 
before he had collected a sufEciept body of assail- 
ants, and was repulsed with great loss 5 afler which 
he assembled his wise men, and ordered them to 
suggest some more efficacious method of retaking 
his city. They observed to him that the knights 
whom he besieged, though very terrible in battle, 
CQuld not live without food, and must therefore be 
ultimately compelled to surrender if not relieved 
by Charles y and that, to cut off all possibility of 
such relief, it would be necessary to prevent any 
intercourse between the besieged and the Christian 
camp, by sending orders that no person,, under 
whatever pretext, should be sufiered to pass the 
bridge of Mantrible. This bridge, over a danger- 
ous torrent, was guarded by the terrible giant AN 

• prove, ^ t plenty. 

apO: (111 F£RUMBRA$,» 

Of Ethiope he was yAxm^ 
Of the kind of Asi^pards* 3 

He had tuskes like a boar. 
An head like a libbardf^ 

He had suffered the French knights to pass the 
bridge, because he had no orders to the contrary ; 
but being now conufianded to be niore cautious, he 
swore that he would stop all comers, and exerted 
all his ingenuity in forming, with four-and-twenty 
iron chains, a sort of net- work, through which no 
human strength could force a passage. 

The soudan, however, was too impatient to ab- 
stain from his daily assaults, in which he was sure 
to lose some of his best warriors, or from his daily 
imprecations against his daughter, which she re* 
turned from the walls with equal volubility. At 
length Mersadage, king of Barbary, on whom he 
had the greatest reliance afrer the death of Luka- 
fere, was killed by Sir Guy, who shot him with an 

' Mersadage, king of Barbary, 
He did carry to his tent, 

* I know not what nation is meant by this appellation. 

f leopard. 


And buried him, by right of Saraoeny, 
With brenniDg fire and rich ointment ^ 

And sung the dirige of Alkoran, 
That Bible is in their lay. 

And wailed his death everych one, &c. 

After which it became necessary to revert to the 
opinion of the wise men, by changing the siege into 
a blockade. 

As the twelve peers were fond of good living, 
their stock of provisions was, in fact, very soon ex- 
hausted; but Floripas possessed a resource with 
which the wise men were unacquainted. This 
was a magical girdle, which exempted those who 
wore it, even during a few minutes, from feeling 
in the course of the next four-and-twenty hours 
the effects of hunger and thirst. The besieged, 
therefore, still continued to wait, with perfect tran- 
quillity, till the soudan should renounce his enter- 
prise ', and he continued from day to wonder 
at their perseverance, till at length he bethought 
himself of the fatal girdle, and employed a thief of 
uncommon dexterity, called Mapyne, to steal it. 
Mapyne introduced himself through the chimney 
into the chamber of Floripas, put on the girdle, and 
was preparing to retire when the princess awoke. 


and hj her cries brought Roland into the room. 
Roland^ with one blow, struck off the head of the 
thief 5 and considering the body as of little value, 
threw it out of the window into the sea, but was 
soon informed by the lamentations of Floripas that 
be had thrown away their whole magazine of pro- 
visions. The knight now regretted no less than 
the princess his precipitate act of vengeance, but 
he in some measure repaired his mistake on the fol- 
lowing day by surprising the enemy's camp, and 
carrying off a convoy which insured to the little 
garrison several weeks* subsistence. 

But to the twelve peers of France a besieged 
castle was almost as tiresome as a prison. They 
enjoyed, indeed, the pleasure of mortifying Laban 
to such a degree that he treated his gods, and even 
their priests, with the utmost indignity 5 they suf- 
fered his men to assault their walls till the castle 
ditch was filled with assailants, whom they then 
crushed with showers "of stones j and at Other times 
threw among the Saracen troops the choicest pieces 
of plate in the soudan's treasury, till his avarice com* 
pelled him to sound a retreat. But they were anxious 
above all things to inform Charlemagne of their situ- 
ation, and deputed Richard of Normandy, one of their 
number, to undertake this dangerous commission. 


For the purpose of occupying the attention of the 
enemy at the moment of his departure, his deven 
companions made a sally which fully answered this 
purpose J but their valour hurried the'm too far : 
Sir Bryer of Britany was killed, and they expe* 
rienced a still greater misfortune in the loss of the 
gentle Sir Guy of Burgundy, who, after cleaving 
to the saddle a wicked king of Babylon, was over- 
powered by numbers and carried prisoner to La- 
ban. The soudan, on hearing his name, which he 
was too proud to conceal, ordered that on the fol- 
lowing morning he should be hanged on a lofty gal- 
lows, in full view of his mistress, and that a large 
body of the bravest troops in the army should ^ttepd 
the execution and prevent a resale. Floripas was 
in despair, and the knights in the greatest aftliction | 
but Roland, perfectly indifferent to the numbers of 
the enemy, having directed his friends to arm, rush- 
ed forth at their head, overturned all who opposed 
them, and made his way up to the prisoner, after 
killing a king of India, who was fortunately pos- 
sessed of an excellent horse and sword, at the same 
' moment that Olivier cut down Sir Tampere, the 
intended executioner. They then unbound Sir 


Guy, armed him, placed him on the Indian king's 
bprse^ and afte^ a second charge, which threw tl^ 

Bg4 «SIR FfiRnMBKAff. 

Saracens into complete confusion^ again turned to* 
wards their citadel. But before they reached th& 
gate they fell in with a convoy : 

Costroye there was^ the amiral^ 

With vitaile great plente> 
And the standard* of the sowdon royal^ 

Toward Mantrible ridden ^f . 
Four chariots y-charged with flesh and breads 

And two other with wine 
Of divers colours, yellow, white, and red. 

And four someres of spicery fine. 

Flushed with victory, the ten companions deter- 
mined to attack the escort, and to carry off the 
convoys but in the first instance thought fit to ban- 
ker poor Costroye, and gravely proposed to him to 
share these dainties with them, a request which he, 
of course, refused with indignation. 

'^ O gentil knight,** quoth Olyvere, 
'^ He is no fellow that will have all !" 

*' Go forth,** quoth the standard, *' thou gettest 
none here, 
'' Thy part shall be full small !*' 

^ 8t«ndar4*bearer. f they. 




Forsooth,** quoth Roland, '^ and shift we will, 
•' Get the better who get may ; ' 

To part* with the needy it is good skill 5 
'' And so shall ye, by my fay !** 

With these words he rode up to the amiral, and 
divided his head and brain with great accuracy, 
whilst Olivier pierced the heart of the standard- 
bearer. The whole escort was dissipated in an in- 
stant 3 the provisions were conveyed into the castle $ 
and the tender-hearted princess, rejoiced at the 
rescue of her lover, generously proposed to the 
chief of the French knights a recompence which 
she thought the best suited to her obligation. 

Florype said to Roland than. 
Ye must chesenye a Heve-\, 
Of all my maidens white as swan.*' 
Quoth Roland, '^ that were a mischief: 
" Our lay will not tliatwe with you deal, 

" Till that ye Christian be made; 
" Nor of your play we will not feel, 
*' For then were we cursed indeed !** 

whereby the maidens of the fair princess preserved 
their chastity some time longer. 

* divi4e^ share. f choose yourself a mistress. 


We will now leave the soudan to his eternal 
quarrels with bis gods^ whom he threatened at every 
sinister turn of fortune to throw into the flames^ 
and attend upon Richard of Normandy^ whb^ 
escaping unobserved from the castle of Aigremor, 
bad taken the road to Charlenu^e's camp^ and ar- 
rived without accident as far as Mantrible. But 
on reconnoitring the famous bridge^ be saw the 
giant on the watch by the side of bis curious net-* 
work of chains. 

When Richard saw there was no gate* ^ 

But by Flagote the floods 
His message would he not let ; 

His horse was both big and good. 
He kneeled, beseeching God, of his grace. 

To save him fro mischief: 
A white hind be saw anon in that place^ 

That swam over to the cliff. 
He blessed him in Goddis name^ 
• And followed the same way. 
The gentil hind that was so tame. 

That on that other side gan play. 

By means of this miracle the good knight wa^ 

♦ way. 


enabled to reach the Christian camp; but on his ar- 
rival was not a little surprised to find the wholo 
army in motion^ and marching toward the sea-coast, 
with the apparent intention of quitting the country. 
Charles, it seems, had been persuaded by the traitor 
Ganelon that it was useless to wait any longer for 
his twelve peers, who were probably killed, and 
equally useless to attempt without them the reco- 
very of the reliques which had been so long in tha 
possession of Laban. But the sight of Richard, 
and the information which he conveyed respecting 
the brave men in the castle of Aigremor, instantly 
recalled him to himself, and induced him to lead 
his army with all possible speed to the bridge of 

But the giant and his net-work presented an ob* 
stacle which it was not easy to overcome by mere 
force. Richard therefore proposed that the army 
should halt on its march within the verge of the 
adjoining forest, while he and twelve more knights, 
disguised as merchants, with packs on their horses, 
should endeavour to get over the bridge, or at all 
events engage the giant in a parley, during which 
Richard would'blow his horn as a signal that the 
army must hasten to his assistance. Algolufi-e, see- 
ing them approach, asked whither they wanted 
to go ? 8 


Richard spake ta the g6aant^ 

And said^ *' toward the sowdon, 
** With divers chaffer, as true merchaunti/ 

•* We purpose for to gon* 
*"' To shew him oipelure and grisi *, 

'* Orjrays f of Perse imperial ; 
** We wol thee give tribate of assa7^ 

*' To pass by licence in especial." 

* « 

. Algoliifie^ true to his instructions^ refused to let 
them pass \ but as it was not contrary to his duty to 
tell them a story, he told them all about the twelve 
knights who had done so much misdiief to his 
master Laban> and was a good deal surprised when 
Richard^ in the midst of this relation, suddenly 
broke the thread of his narrative by blowing his 
bom with the greatest violence. The giant had 
very long arms and a stout oaken pole headed with 
steel, which he wielded with such dexterity as to 
keep at bay the crowd of valiant knights who now 
assailed him, till 


Richard TauglU\ him with a bar of brass 
That he caught at the gate j 

* furs of di£&rent sorts. f embroidered works. 

\ reached. 


He brake his legs ; he cried^ alas! 

And fell all check mate. 
Loud then gan he yell^ 

They heard him yell through that citd^ 
Like the great devil of hell} 

And said '' Mahoun ! now helpe me." 
Four men him caught there. 

So heavy he was and long. 
And caste him over into the rjvere, 

Chese he whether to swim or gong*. 

The knights now loosened the chains and ad- 
vanced toward the walls of the city, but were sud- 
denly assailed by another monster not less formi- 
dable than Algolufre, though of a different sex* 
Her name was Barrok, and she mowed down the 
Christians with a scythe without appearing at all 
disturbed by their resistance. 

This Barrok was a giantess. 

And wife she was to Astragottj 
She did the Christians great distress. 

She felled down all that she smot 
There durst no man her scjrthe abide j 

She grinned like a devil of hell : 

* go. 


King Charles^ with a quarelle, that tide 
Smote her that she loud gan jdl, 

Over the fronts throughout the brain j 
That cursed fiend fell do^n dead> &c« 

Charles now pres9ed forward, and without wait** 
ing to collect his guards followed the flying enemy 
through the outward gate of the tow^, which was 
instantly closed upon hiui, and found himself as* 
sailed on all quarters without the possibility of 
making his retreat. At this moment the perfidious 
Ganelon esiclaimed that the king was taken pri- 
soner 5 that Rowland and Olivier were deadi that 
the crown was now his right ; and that it was his 
will immediately to return to France. The sol- 
diers^ accustomed to obey, instantly began to re- 
treat. Of the knights who were wimesses to this 
strange scene none had sufficient authority to inter- 
fere 5 when Ferumbras commg up, and inquiring 
into the cause of this confiision, was tauntingly an- 
swered by Ganelon that the king was a prisoner 
among the Saracens. He instantly exclaimed, 

" Turn again, thou traitour^ ^ 

" And helpe to resctie thy lord; 
*' And ye, sirs all, — for your honour!**-^ 

They turned again at that word ! ' 


Fjenimbras^ with ax in hond^ 

Mightily brake up the gate : 
There might last him none iron bond ; 

He had near-band come too late. 

The king, however, though nearly exhausted, 
was still unhurt, and Ferumbras h^d the honour of 
saving his life, and of putting bim in possession of 
the valuable treasury, and of the numerous military 
engines which had long been deposited by the Sa- 
racenkings in the strong fortress of Mantrible. 

The same city, it seems, also contained some 
treasures of another sort, which Charles considered 
as highly valuable from their curiosity, 

Richard, duke of Normandy, 

Found two children of seven months old. 
Fourteen feet long they were i 

They were Barrak*s sons so bold. 
Begot they were of Astragott j 

Great joy the king of them had : 
Heathen they were both, I wot. 

Therefore them to be christened he bade. 
He called that one of them Roland, 

And that other he cleped Olyvere ; 
For they shall be mighty men of hand;, 

To keepen -them he was full pheer. 
VpL. II. 2 P . 


They might not leare their dam was dead; 

They could not keep them forth ; 
They wooki neither eat butter iior Inread, 

Nor no man to them was worth. 
Their dam's milk they lacked there. 

They dieden (or de&tdt of their dam ; 
King Charles made heavy cheer. 

And a sorry man was than. 

But whatever might be the tendemesfi of his af- 
fection for these unwieldy- intuits, be had now no 
time to indulge his regret | he tha^fore left Richard 
of Normandy with two hnodred knights in Man- 
trible, and hastened wUh the i^st ai his aimy to 
Aigremor. The banner of France, and that of Fe- 
rumbras, were first descried by the fair Floripas 5 
and the joyful tidings being communicated to her 
ten champions, they fiew to join the army of Char- 
lemagne, and, as may be supposed^ contributed not 
a little to the total defeat of the Saracens^ who, 
having no place of retreat, ¥rere forced to risk the 
event of a battle. Charles personally encountered 
Laban, and, having unhorsed htm, was prepiuing to 
cut off his head, when Ferumbras . interfered, and 
requested that his father might not die unbaplized, 
but be conveyed as a prisoner to the castle of Aigre- 
mor. Here the fiur Floripas preseikted to Charle-' 


magne the precious reliqnes brought from Rome^ 
which he received on his knees, and kissed with 
due devotion 3 after which 

King Charles did call bishop Turpin^ • 

And bade him ordain a great vat 
To baptize the Sowdan in. 

And look what he ihall hat*. 
*' Unarm him fast and bring him near^ 

'' I shall his god-father be : 
'' Fill it fiill of water dear, 

'' For baptized shall he be. 
*' Make him naked as a child, 

" He must plunge therein ; 
" For now must he be meek and mild, 

'^ And y-wash away his sin." 
Titrpin took him by the hond. 

And led him to the font $ 
He smot the bishop with a brond, 

And gave him an evil brunt. 
He spitted in the water clear. 

And cried out on them all. 
And defied all that Christian were,. 

That foul may him befall ! 

The intended proselyte being so untractable^ and 
continuing to vent his rage in ^iolent imprecations 

* be called. 


against his son and daughter^ there remained no al- 
ternative but to order him to uEumediate execution ) 
and accordingly 

It was done as the king commaunde -, 

His soul was iet to hell. 
To dance in that sorry land. 

With devils that were full fell. 

It now only remained for Charlemagne to acquit 
himself of his many obligations to the fair Floripaa 
by marrying her, immediately after her baptism, 
t6 her dear Sir Guy, on whom be bestowed, as a 
marriage portion, one half of Spain, at the same 
time that he confirmed Sir Ferumbras in possession 
of the remainder. H^ then, after exhorting these 
two princes to preserve through life the sentiments 
of fraternal affection for each other, and of friend- 
ship towards him, took a tender leave of them, and 
returned with his army to France, where he depo- 
sited his precious reliques in the principal churches 
Paris and St, Denis. The story ends with the 
execution of the traitor Ganelon, who was hanged 
on a lofty gibbet at Montfaucon. 


K, Taylor & Co. PritUers, 38, Shoe^lane,